Matt: “Cancer research is where I think the future is, beating cancer”

Living as a normal adventurous 13-year-old, Matt’s life was turned upside down after noticing swelling in one of his cheeks. After numerous doctor and hospital visits, the news was grim: he had cancer.

Treatment began immediately and with it the emotional, physical and mental side effects. Months of treatment meant unending trips to the hospital, weeks of exhaustion and the ongoing question: “will I live?”

After the success of his first round of therapy, Matt was delivered the good news: he could say goodbye to the hospital. However, on a regular 3-month check-up post treatment, Matt was back staring at the same familiar hospital ceiling, a chemo port under his skin: the cancer had returned.

Over the next two and a half years Matt underwent further chemotherapy and surgery. This second round of therapy was much more intense than anything Matt had previously experienced and it often left him in hospital for months at a time.

Throughout this period, the Children’s Cancer Foundation not only funded many of Matt’s medical services and treatments crucial to his survival, but also provided support to help with the day-to-day battles of his cancer journey.

While Matt considers himself one of the ‘lucky ones’, other patients who underwent treatment during his 3 years of hospital visits were not as fortunate. This is why Matt believes cancer research is crucial and he has been dedicated to raising money for this cause. Since 2008, Matt conducted a variety of charity events which have raised more than $70,000 for cancer support. In 2013, he organised a 300 km walk that raised more than $60,000 for the Children’s Cancer Foundation.

“Foundations like this are giving kids like me hope for a long and happy future.”

Thank you Matt for sharing your story with us.

Matt at the Royal Children's Hospital