Saturday, December 19, 2009

A knight to Remember Charity Event in Ricky's honor

We have planned a event to help the Magical Moon Foundation as well as honor Ricky.

It's being held February 20th, at the Shaw's Center, just one mile off Route 24 in Brockton. Ricky's brother Michael Shaponick and many other nationally ranked youth ballroom dancers are preforming, and music will be provided by Deirdre's brother, Conor O'Brien and friends. Ticket price of $75 is fully deductible and includes an excellent dinner, dancing and a silent auction. Tables of 10 can be had for $700, so get your friends together and make a night out of it.

Don't you want something to do in the dead of winter? Come make a difference and have a great night out all for an excellent cause.

I hope to see you there! You can buy tickets (advance sales only) by clicking here:

Thank you for all the amazing support we have received.

Merry Christmas and happy holidays!


Saturday, November 28, 2009

Ricky and the Magical Moon Farm in the Globe today!

An amazing article by Bella English, the paper version has pictures, including one of Ricky and I from last month while at the farm.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Wonderful service, wonderful friends and family

Thank you to all for the amazing amount of support!

I'll be posting more as I can, but I wanted to let people know that we are planning a big fundraiser in Ricky's honor February 20th in Brockton. More details to follow.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Local hotel

Several people have asked, so we have a block of rooms right in the harbor at "The Inn at Scituate Harbor", for a special rate of $89.00, just mention the funeral. Their contact info is 781 545 5550, or


Saturday, November 7, 2009

Details of services

I first need to thank you all so much for the tremendous support that we've received over the last several weeks, and especially since Ricky's passing. It means so much to us.

I'll write more later, but I did want to share with you that Ricky had a amazing week with the last night lasting well past 10 PM with lots of visitors with lots of hugs and laughter. I slept next to him that night, me in a folding bed, and he in his hospital bed with the rail removed. I was able to hold him all night, and when he passed away the next morning, he was being held by Pat, Deirdre and myself. He slept very sound that night as he was in no discomfort or pain, and when he left us, he showed a sense of peace. It was a gentle passing.

His arrangements are below, also in the Patriot Ledger weekend edition and Sunday's Globe.

Thank you so much once again from all of us.


Richard William Hoffman
Richard William Hoffman Richard William Hoffman SCITUATE Richard "Ricky" William Hoffman of Scituate, passed away peacefully at home on Friday November 6, 2009, at the age of 11, after a brave and hard fought 2 year battle with brain cancer. Ricky is survived by his beloved parents Patricia (Cahill) Hoffman, William Hoffman and his wife Deirdre of all of Scituate, brother Michael Shaponick, grandparents James and Ann Cahill of Albany, NY, William and Sandra Hoffman of Westerly, RI, and many aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends. Ricky was a fifth grade student at the Wampatuck Elementary School. He enjoyed traveling to the White Mountains and Vermont. He was an avid collector and loved swimming, hiking, music and ethnic foods. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Wednesday, November 11th in St. Mary of the Nativity Church, Scituate at 1PM. Interment to follow in Union Cemetery, Scituate. Visiting hours will be on Tuesday from 4 p.m.-8 p.m. at Richardson-Gaffey Funeral Home, 382 First Parish Rd., Scituate. There will be a Celebration of Life for Ricky's family and friends directly after the services at St Mary's Church Hall. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made in Ricky's memory to Magical Moon Foundation, PO Box 83, Marshfield Hills, MA 02051 or Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Contribution Services, 6th floor, 10 Brookline Place West, Brookline, MA 02445-7226. Visit for memorial. Richardson-Gaffey Funeral Home (781) 545-0196

Friday, November 6, 2009

We lost Ricky this morning.

Surrounded and held by his mother, step mother and myself, Ricky Hoffman passed away in peace at 9:40 this morning at his mother's house.

Arrangements are still being made and will be published here when confirmed, but plans are for a wake Tuesday November 10th from 4 to 8 PM, and the service at 1 Pm Wednesday, the 11th. We're planning a celebration of life for Ricky at 3 Pm. Everything is being held in Scituate, MA.

I'll write more at a later date..........

Thank you for all those prayers and good thoughts, they do help.


Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Not fairing so well.....

Well, Ricky has taken a pretty big downturn over the last few days. We started morphine yesterday, he's been having headaches and some vomiting, and is very weak. He's only had a little applesauce over the last two days, it's pretty clear the days of "crazy breakfast" are likely over.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Friday update...

Ricky is doing okay, still working on the sleep problems and he lately has had tremors which we are hoping to help get sorted out. He's still eating well, but needs help, last night was fresh bluefin tuna (thanks Dan!), white rice and fresh zucchini, he ate the entire plate!

Woke up this morning and gave me a "hey dad!", which I haven't heard in ages and really made my morning. He's had lots of company and today he is having even more.


Monday, October 26, 2009

Hanging in there.....

Ricky remains content, he's not talking much more than a few words a day, but he is very aware of what is going on around him. He has been eating well (as we all are thanks to efforts of our many friends and family!), but not sleeping so well so we're trying to get that sorted out.

He continues to have no pain or duress, but we do see a continued decline in his overall health. He does love his many visitors as well as the cards and presents he's received, we are very thankful for all the efforts!


Thursday, October 22, 2009

Thursday update..

Ricky has been feeling better the last few days, maybe it's because he's finally getting over his cold (which I now have), maybe it's because he doesn't have six chemo drugs going into his body. Whatever the reason, he has been more alert, speaking a little more and eating without as much assistance as he needed before. Every once in awhile his sense of humor shows up, same old Ricky!

He remains content and really seems to draw strength and blossom when he has visitors. And he has had lots of visitors! We're delighted at all the friends and family that have stopped by and we feel really lucky to be part of this community. The meals that have been brought over to us have been a big help (and so tasty). Ricky got a big kick eating the tacos Tuesday night sent over by Rosie, one of his many favorites on the Wampatuck school staff.

Thanks one more time for the kinds thoughts and prayers!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Stable and content

Ricky has been stable the last few days. Still working on getting over a cold and cough, but otherwise doing okay. We went to the Magical Moon Foundation get-together Saturday, Ricky enjoyed being there with the fellow knights and eating the cookies that Donna Green always has for him. Lots of "thumbs up"!

Thursday, October 15, 2009


We went to Dana Farber yesterday and while Ricky's blood counts were okay, we decided after our consultation with the doctors to discontinue the Avastin. It had worked well for us, but the cancer found a way to get around it, like it did for all the other treatments we tried.

Ricky got his monthly antibiotic and another one via IV to try and knock out the low grade fever he has been having.

He's sleeping more each day, has no pain and he seems content. He enjoys his visitors, even if he isn't saying much. He was able to pick up and eat a cheeseburger and fries by himself yesterday, something he hadn't done the last few days. Deirdre went to the market to get him Gorton's fish sticks, one of his favorites, for dinner tonight, I'm sure he'll have the leftovers for Friday's crazy breakfast.

Thank you agin for the prayers and good thoughts.


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Slipping away...............

I'm sorry to report that Ricky's health continues to decline daily. He's not talking much except for a few words here and there. Walking is impossible without help. Either he's had stroke damage or the disease is taking over more and more,

We started with the hospice program last Thursday. Pat and I both have hospital beds, etc at our houses. The entire team of doctors, nurses and even the people who supply the home equipment have all been so very good to us.

He is still eating well, but needs to be hand fed. Fortunately he seems content, he's calm and in no pain.

He's had lots of company the last few days, he still really enjoys being around all the many people who love him so much. Every once in awhile, he'll flash that smile.

We're off to Dana Farber today for our every two week visit. Not sure if they will give him Avastin or not, we stopped all the other chemo drugs Sunday night. It was a very hard choice after two and a half years of fighting.

This morning for breakfast he'll be eating ginger chicken and pan-fried noodles left over from our Tuesday night dinner.

Once again I thank you all for the many prayers and good thoughts.


Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Not doing so well.....

Ricky had a great weekend in Vermont, but his condition seems to be worsening almost day by day. He was able to go to school Monday for a few hours, but came home early as he needed to sleep. He's still dealing with a minor cold, which hasn't helped.

He's sleeping more and more, and is able to do less and less. He's not very vocal, and isn't very responsive to questions asked of him. He's having problems with some bodily functions also.

He has no pain or nausea, and he seems content.

He enjoyed tacos last night along with some mac and cheese, which he'll also eat for breakfast this morning.

Thank you for the continuous prayers and good thoughts, they make a difference.


Thursday, October 1, 2009

Numbers good at Dana Farber...but

Ricky's CBC (blood test) was good yesterday, his platelets, ANC, White blood cells, etc were all okay, so he was able to get the Avastin. He did well, no nausea, ate a huge amount of Chinese food for lunch.

That was the good news, the bad news is that the staff noticed that he has really slowed up - he was only able to answer some of the questions asked of him, and everything seems to take more effort. Even getting out of the car requires a few minutes before he is able to exit, and he needs assistance with many things now that used to be so easy. As a parent, it's very hard to watch..........

We're going to Vermont for the weekend, it's one of his favorite places, so we'll make another trip up there.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Not an easy week....

Ricky hasn't been feeling very good this week, he stayed home from school Monday and Tuesday, mostly due to a respiratory bug, but he's been fatigued also.

We've had to make several medication changes, prompted by minor side effects, and in some cases by not seeing any difference with some of the changes we made late last week. We're also switching to as many liquid versions of the medicines as we can since Ricky is having a hard time lately swallowing his many pills twice a day.

He seemed to be feeling better yesterday. He slept until 10:30 this morning and went to school at noon after eating a breakfast of Ginger Chicken and white rice with hot and sour soup for an appetizer.

Thank you for the prayers and good thoughts, we're back at Dana Farber Wednesday.


Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Ricky in print

Ricky was in the local paper last week!

He's fighting a bad cold, not feeling so great, but he's been very busy and of course he never quits or even complains.

Last weekend he spent Friday night and Saturday at his Grandparents in RI, Saturday night was dinner at Grandma Annie's down the Cape and Sunday he was the guest of honor at "Cars and Copters" in Plymouth. The organizers were just great to us! They went out of their way to make sure Ricky (and all of us) had a special day there, which included "winning" a great raffle prize and a ride in Kenny K's beautiful Ferrari Tessarossa. We all got a helicopter ride too. Lower left picture is Ricky checking out Dad's winter boat project.

Thanks to all!


Thursday, September 17, 2009

Update from Dana Faber

Ricky did okay at Dana Farber yesterday, his blood counts were all okay and he's within three ounces of hitting 80 pounds. He was able to get his monthly antibiotic and the Avastin without getting nauseous. He ate a giant slice of cheese pizza and a happy meal before he left for home. Breakfast yesterday was steak tips, rice and green beans.

That's the good news, the bad news is that we had a meeting with his team and while we do not have current MRI or PET scan data, they strongly believe that Ricky's decline is the tumor breaking loose again. They were not optimistic that he has much longer. The amount of time will be determined by where the tumor growth affects his brain functions. There is no "Plan B", we are out of options.

His medications were adjusted to help his fatigue and malaise, in the hopes of increasing his quality of life, and we were given new scripts in anticipation of changes which may include increased seizures and possible pain. We will keep him on the chemo in the hopes that we are holding back the tumor for as long as we can. He has had no pain except for very occasional headaches that are relieved with just a couple of Tylenol.

He got up on time for school, Pat says he was feeling good, for "crazy breakfast" he ate more steak, some leftover duck, french fries and beans.

Thank you for the prayers and good thoughts.


Monday, September 14, 2009

Not feeling so great....

Ricky seems to have taken a turn for the worse the last several days. He is moving slow, his processng speed is down, he is very tired and quite weak. Lots of sleeping....

Not sure what is happening, we will get more info this Wednesday at DF..............

He did make it to school all last week, but in late Friday and today.

Prayers and good thoughts always welcome!


Thursday, September 3, 2009

Okay visit at Dana Farber

We did okay yesterday, Ricky was not feeling well in the morning, but looked better by afternoon. His numbers were good: WBC at 3.99, Platelets at 214, RBC at 33.6 and ANC was 1.94. He was able to get the Avastin and had no nausea.

We are going to try Ritalin to help with the fatigue with school starting next week.

Going to a family labor day party, he already packed his bag of goodies!

Thank you for the prayers and good thoughts!