Mateo was an amazing, sharp, witty, compassionate, and loving child with a contagious smile and infectious laughter. He was passionate for living and had many hobbies. Mateo loved to do arts and crafts in all its forms but especially drawing, painting, and sculpting. He loved playing video games, his favorite being Super Mario games, building with legos, duplos, and megablocks, and he loved playing the villain, Mateo the Big Bad Guy, while playing with Joker and his Imaginext toys. He loved playing with his sisters Dahlia, who he sometimes called Dahlia the Evil Cat Sister, and Olivia. He also really enjoyed doing math as well as science experiments, especially volcanoes. After a long day of fun and activities Mateo loved to sit down and watch TV with his family. His favorites were Mickey Mouse, Disney shows and Movies, Storybots, Numberblocks, and Avatar.
He loved all things cats, especially his cats Fatty and Luna. He loved being in the water and going to the beach. While he was still able, Mateo loved playing soccer, going to playgrounds, running around, and playing games like lava monster and food tag, a game he invented. He was passionate about reading and loved to go to the library and Barnes and Noble. He loved going on dates with his mother and father, especially to Starbucks where he always asked for a strawberries and cream frappuccino. Mateo enjoyed both eating as well as cooking a broad range of foods. It was always a delight to see him eat a whole tomato, taking bites out of it like it was an apple. His favorite dishes were orange chicken and rice, spaghetti and meatballs, meatloaf, and Chick Fil A. Even his favorite burger, the mushroom swiss from Whataburger, and the time he ate squid ink spaghetti were a testament to his sophisticated palate and his adventurous nature. He really enjoyed gardening and was always excited to harvest the vegetables he sowed with his own hands. Mateo was passionate about the beauty in the world including man made beauty such as art and architecture. He loved to enjoy nature by watching the clouds and sunsets, watching and playing in the rain, eating snow, and going for walks in the evening with his family. He loved traveling and was always looking forward to staying in hotels. In his short six years he traveled to 14 states, 3 countries, and countless cities. He never went anywhere without his stuffed kitty, Flaco, and his first blanket, Chicky Chicky. Mateo made many friends wherever he went and was loved by so many. Above all, Mateo loved being with family and never ceased to remind us that family is the most important part of life.
On Aug 19, 2020, Mateo was diagnosed with Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma, an aggressive, incurable form of brain cancer. DIPG has an average survival of 9 to 11 months from diagnosis. Mateo had radiotherapy and an underwent a medical trial therapy before being diagnosed with leptomeningeal dissemination in April 2021, an even more aggressive form of spread. Mateo underwent another round of radiotherapy and further experimental medications. Despite this impossible diagnosis and even more difficult spread, Mateo fought valiantly and reached a major milestone, his one-year anniversary from diagnosis. After his long, hard-fought battle, Mateo was taken from this world just 5 days later.
Mateo was a shining light that touched so many people in this world. Before his passing, Mateo let us know that whenever he went to heaven he would paint sunsets with God. We will always look for Mateo in the sunsets.
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