Virginia Mother Seeks to Make The White House “Gold” on Behalf of Childhood Cancer


Photo provided by Roya Giordano

Mathias Giordano smiles for the camera.

Written by Ryan Wright

The White House is known to light up with colors like blue for Autism, red for Aids, and even green for Saint Patrick’s Day, but the White House has never been gold. Loudoun Resident Roya Giordano, who lost her 13 year-old son Mathias in December 2014, wants the White house to glow in gold for one night to spread awareness for childhood cancer.

“Every two minutes, somewhere in the world, a child is diagnosed with cancer. We need to focus on raising awareness, and I believe that by doing so, we can have more funding and eventually find a cure,” says Giordano.

Giordano lost her son after a long battle with Osteosarcoma, cancer of the bone. Mathias was diagnosed in July of 2013 at age 11 and went through thirty plus rounds of high dose chemo, three major lung surgeries, twenty-seven rounds of radiation, and an amputation of his right leg under the knee before losing his life to the disease.

Giordano wants to spread awareness, saying, “I want to ‘go gold’ to let the world know that kids get cancer too,” says Giordano.

Giordano created an online petition two years ago in hopes to get enough signatures for President Donald Trump to approve the idea of making the White House gold for one evening. With a goal of 150,000, Giordano has a petition 131,581 signatures so far.

Giordano also wants to educate people about the treatments that children with cancer have to take. Many treatments and medications have existed longer than the children who have to endure them.

“There have only been three or four FDA approved new drugs that have hit the market for pediatric cancers in the past thirty years,” says Giordano.

Giordano also wants to use her platform to encourage everyone to donate blood at Inova or the Red Cross. Giordano also promotes a program called Be the Match. Be the Match is the National Marrow Donor Program in which bone marrow or cord blood can be donated and matched to patients with blood cancers like leukemia, lymphoma, and sickle cell anemia.

“If you are eighteen years or older, you can register with Be the Match, which is the largest bone marrow registry,” says Giordano.

Team Mathias has organized many different events in the past to spread awareness and help the families who are going through the same tough times that the Giordano family have experienced. Mathias, himself, came up with the idea to put together care packages that are customized to each individual families’ needs.

“He wanted everyone to open up their care package and know that it was made especially for them,” says Linda Long, a member of Team Mathias since 2012.

Long worked alongside the Giordano family and Mathias and helped organize fundraising events to help raise money for Mathias as well as other families in need.

“When I met Mathias, it was all over. He had my heart,” says Long.

The Giordano Family was also responsible for implementing the Childhood Cancer License Plate for the state of Virginia.

“When Mathias wanted something done, he was so adamant and clear,” says Long on Mathias’s wishes. Mathias’s goal was to see the gold ribbon on every car across the state of Virginia. A bill known as the “Mathias Bill” passed in November of 2014.  Since Mathias was ill, the bill was presented to him at his home.

The petition for the White House to go gold is online at “Team Mathias” is on Facebook for anyone who wants to follow the events and join the fight against pediatric cancer.

“He was full of life and he smiled through everything. At heart he was strong and he wanted to fight and live,” says Giordano.