In September of 2014, Matthew had awake brain surgery to remove what was humanly possible of a 5 cm brain tumor. That surgery, which was successful, came only 5 days after he was initially admitted to the hospital. This was also the first cancer diagnosis for Matt, the middle child of five close knit kids, but not a family first. Michael, the oldest, also battled a completely unrelated type of brain cancer when he was just five years old. 26 years later, and he's still here fighting.
Overcoming the initial diagnosis inspired Matt to go back to college for a semester, earning honors. He wanted to prove to himself that he could accomplish that after brain surgery. He looks forward to earning a bachelors degree someday. As soon as he was physically recovered, Matt got a full time job with medical insurance since he outgrew his parent's plan. Everything seemed to be falling into place, until the following September where a MRI revealed the tumor was growing back.
Proton radiation and chemotherapy were chosen as the best treatment option since it causes far less damage to surrounding brain tissue than the more traditional photon radiation. Unfortunately Matt's new insurance wouldn't cover proton radiation. But he opted to drive the extra 60 miles each way, 5 days a week, for 6 straight weeks, to receive the treatment anyway.
Matt has now completed his radiation treatment and the first stage of chemotherapy as of December, 2015. He's currently halfway through his six month long stage 2 of chemo, feeling strong and optimistic. He walked his first Survivor Lap at the ACS Relay for Life with Michael this year. It was so emotional watching them walking in their purple HOPE t-shirts. When the rest of the family joined in the walk supporting Cancer Warriors as well as honoring Angel Warriors gone before us, it's hard not to shed a few.
We appreciate you keeping Matthew and his medical team in your prayers, any and all help, and We appreciate YOU!