My brother Matthew is a 37 year old father to 3 young children and has recently been experiencing serious health problems.
He has been diagnosed with Stage IV lung cancer that has metastasized to his brain, his rib, and his hip bone. The cancer resulted from "deletions in exon 19 of EGFR” which is a type of metastatic adenocarcinoma. This type of cancer results from a genetic mutation, is slow growing, and is incurable with a life expectancy of less than 5 years. The oncologist believe this cancer could have been growing for the last 10 years! It most often occurs in people twice his age.
Matthew's medical crisis began on January 10th when he was rushed to hospital with difficulty breathing. Once at the hospital, doctors found a cystic left paracentral tumor in his brain the size of a grapefruit, two smaller tumors, as well as intercranial swelling. In addition, they found a large tumor with hundreds of smaller ones in his lungs, all of which are connected. Matthew was unable to have any visitors while he was in hospital due to Covid-19.
January 13th Matthew underwent brain surgery to remove the larger brain tumor. This surgery successfully removed 100% of this tumor, which is a miracle!
On January 21st, Matthew received a call from his neurosurgeon who shared the news of his cancer diagnosis. In such a short amount of time, Matthew's life has been upended.
Everyone is in shock that our seemingly healthy Matthew was in fact this unwell.
He had a cough off and on for about a year and had experienced a few troubling neurological symptoms but had been told by specialists that he was having a migraine. Sadly, we now know that it was in fact cancer.
Matthew comes from a large family of 6 children and has faced life-threatening health issues before.
In fact, at 17, Matthew was a passenger in a motor vehicle collision that resulted in 5 life-saving surgeries (broken back, internal bleeding, removal of 1/3 of his intestines, tear in his aorta, treatment for staph infection post-surgery, colostomy reversal) and a recovery that took years. He faced all of this as a teenager with a bravery I can't even fathom. This was 20 years ago and since then, Matthew has lived his life to the fullest! He became a father, to the best kids ever!, he started his own business, he travelled the world, and showed us all how to live through adversity. He has always been our hero for how he faced the pain and recovery from this car accident.
The tragic part of Matthew's story is that his oncologist's believes this cancer is a result of the trauma his body went through as a teen from the car accident! Knowing how difficult that car accident was on Matthew and how it altered his life, we are all stunned by this news. Having survived that car accident, I am devastated to know that the trauma he has been through is now threatening his life again, in such a drastic way. It is truly unfathomable.
Given that this type of cancer is incurable, Matthew is exploring any treatment options that may help alleviate symptoms and slow the cancers growth.
When Matthew was explaining what the doctor reported he said, in typical Matty fashion, “ it’s not the best news, but it’s also not the worst.”
Matthew continues to be positive and feels stronger every day and has shared that he knows with this diagnosis, it means there is no margin for error in terms of his health. He has undertaken a Alkaline based diet as soon as he got home from the hospital and has been focusing on natural ways to improve his health. Everything he is doing is working as he feels healthier today than the previous two years. He intends to document his health journey online and to continue to centre all of his intentions on full and complete healing. He feels the power and love from all you like miracles in his veins.
To all those within our community, to our friends and to family, we are now calling on you for any help you can offer to Matthew to help see him through this "Journey to complete health". I am personally asking the universe for a return on every favour I’ve ever done, any generosity that was ever given, for every door held open, for every good turn to be returned now. Because my brother needs it all. All the generosity. All the love. All the support. All of it.
Matthew will need every good intention, every healing prayer, every kind word you have to give. He will specifically need to be able to focus his full attention on his health and will not be able to work. As you can imagine, Matthew requires support to cover his living expenses, his child support, any cost of treatments not covered under healthcare, and any treatment options that may be needed.
We all believe in the power of community and that a problem shared is a problem solved.
Matthew does not have any healthcare benefits, being self-employed, or any critical illness insurance, which makes your help so very necessary.
Often in these situations one can feel incredibly helpless. We have all been so appreciative of the many people who have reached out asking what they can do to help. To be honest, this is one way in which your help, however great or small, can make a lasting impact on Matthew’s life. I will personally be making it my mission to see that Matthew is able to access whatever treatment he needs without any monetary obstacle.
For those of you who don’t know, Matthew has always been an optimistic, generous person who has always given of his time, talents and resources to those who needed them. He has always been there for his family as well as me personally.
At 23, Matthew selflessly donated $30,000.00 to a local church to help support their programming and to give back to the community. He has always been a generous, caring person who has supported those in need.
I will share with you my most recent experience of Matthew’s selfless, kind nature to understand why he is so deserving of our support. In October, I was taken to hospital for emergency treatment of blood clots in my lungs. I was bundled off in the ambulance with my two week old newborn, not wanting to be away from her because she is nursing. My other half had to stay home with our toddler as we didn’t have anyone to watch her. So there I was, in the emergency department with my newborn experiencing the worst pain of my life.
Luckily, Matthew reached out to me and asked if I needed help. At first, not wanting to be a nuisance, I told him I was ok and that I’d let him know if I needed anything. As the pain started to return, I reached out and he arrived 15 minutes later at 12am to care for my daughter and I. While I was receiving treatment, having difficulty breathing, Matthew calmly rocked my baby in his arms and coached me through the breaths. When I had to be rushed off for an MRI, he undertook feeding her with a bottle delivered from the NICU. I was petrified to be leaving her but he assured me he would take good care of her. He sat with us all night in emergency until Gary came the next morning. I was grateful for his help that night while I was overcome with pain and anxiety as to what was happening to me. What we didn’t know then was that while Matthew was there comforting me, his body was struggling with the tumours. In fact, Matty said he was to start antibiotics the next day to get rid of the chronic cough he’d had off and on for a year. For me, the compassion Matty showed to me and my daughter that night is representative of who he is and how, even though he was not feeling well himself, he showed up for me in my time of need without hesitation. I intend to be there for him without hesitation in anyway he needs.
I am so very grateful that Matthew is my brother and I am hopeful that with the support of those near and far, Matthew can face this challenge head on. We love you Matty and we will rally around you, now and always. To the light-bringers, gather round. We’re gonna need you.