maddie & mat's story isn't quite the fairytale, it is more a story about two young australians from perth doing it tough. for those who don't know them, they are a great team & a real genuine couple. mat is a top bloke, a real nice fella who loves his fishing & his wifey. maddie is caring, nurturing, incredibly kind & just an arty farty little soul who loves family time.
they started off young - high school ball partners & set off into the world together. just as they were looking at building their first home together, mat got knocked down with primary sclerosing cholangitis, an autoimmune disease which attacks the liver. the only cure, a liver transplant. the wait began, not knowing if a liver that was a match for mat would ever become available. a lot of tears were shed over time & then mat was eventually put on the donor list. the disease was wreaking havoc on mat's body & he was completely yellow on the day of his 21st birthday - not how you plan those milestone birthdays. one night on the 17th november 2011, they received a phone call saying a liver was available. the transplant proceeded the very next day & it was a success. mat was in ICU but bounced back. maddie there everyday by his side, during the whole debilitating disease & there for the miraculous recovery, taking it all in her stride & mat just wanting to get back to work & try & live a normal life. a very big thanks to a special someone for their organ donation, a semi normal life was on the horizon.
the road looked brighter. maddie & mat set back on the path of building their first home together. moving in was an exciting time for them, something they thought would not have ever been possible two years ago. they were enjoying life, living out of home for the first time with their loved one when all of a sudden they got the news that mat's primary sclerosing cholangitis disease was back. not to dwell on things they can't change though, maddie & mat continued on with life.
in december 2014, after seven years together & some major hurdles along the way, mat proposed to maddie. to say she was ecstatic is an understatement. of course she said yes! planning a wedding can be quite stressful, but add in to the mix, mat also got diagnosed with crohn's disease & ulcerative colitis, having a fiancé in constant agony doesn't paint a rosy picture. maddie & mat just got on with it, as they had been doing for quite some time now.
they had set the date for their wedding - 16th january 2016. although in november 2015, a second little miracle made itself known. they were pregnant! maddie & mat were told by doctors they would struggle to conceive, mat on so much medication & immune suppressants to keep his liver on track & maddie with a few medical issues of her own, it didn't look like naturally conceiving a little baby would be on the cards. however life threw them a 1up. the wedding itself was an amazing day full of emotions, love & all round happiness. it truly was a magical day that maddie & mat had thought in the past would not have been a reality. a night full of dancing, wonderful company, friends & family all there to share in their tough but inspiring love story. the night was topped off with maddie & mat announcing they were four months pregnant & expecting their baby in early july. there didn't seem to be a dry eye in the place, as everyone there knew how special this announcement was.
wedding buzz over, maddie & mat started to plan for their impending bundle of joy. setting up a nursery was something maddie especially was looking forward to - pinterest boards galore! mat just wanted to make sure he got the baby basinet on his side of the bedroom & had dibs on the 4am feeds. they were both so excited for the next little chapter in their lives & couldn't believe their luck. things seemed to finally be turning around for them. obstetrician appointments & ultrasounds were appointments they couldn't wait to get to. both of them always there together to gaze at their new growing baby.
unfortunately though, not even three months after becoming husband & wife, maddie raced mat to hospital with agonising pain in his abdomen on easter weekend this year. many tests, scans & biopsy's later, maddie & mat, along with their families, were dealt the harsh, cold blow that mat had aggressive lymphoma. aggressive lymphoma is something nobody wants to hear, especially a young couple who had already dealt with a liver transplant & were expecting their first child in 12weeks. emergency surgery went ahead one sunday evening to remove mat's bowel which had three large masses of lymphoma attached to it. mat now faces life with a colostomy bag & has 4-6 months of chemo ahead of him, if all goes well. they are still unaware if & how far the lymphoma has spread, although during surgery doctors did notice lymphoma attached to the wall of his stomach. maddie has been by mat's bedside every single day since he has been admitted into hospital. she is trying to remain strong for mat, their unborn baby & herself. many, many tears have flown down both their cheeks & many more will continue to flow. the uncertainty is frightening and maddie having to attend her first antenatal class without her husband with her is soul destroying. a time that is meant to be so over joyous & exciting, entering the third trimester of your first pregnancy & bringing a child into this world with your partner whom you love, instead is saddened with hospital stays & constant chemo injections. maddie & mat thought they would be bringing their baby home, to their home, into a beautiful new nursery in which they planned to create together. instead maddie has had to move back home with her parents for constant support. being 28weeks pregnant & dealing with your husband's aggressive lymphoma is not an easy task at all.
mat obviously can't work at the moment & won't be able to for at least the next six months - that's if all goes to plan. maddie's heart is aching & she has had to leave work early to be by her husband's side. but of course, the world continues to spin, bills continue to come in, life costs money & a baby on the way isn't a cheap journey. they are having to sell mat's car just to try & get by. they are also having to look at options of what to do with their home as a mortgage needs to be paid. all maddie wants is her husband to get better & to have him there for the birth of their first baby, she doesn't want to do it without him. all mat wants is to get better & to be there for the birth of their first baby, he doesn't want to miss it.
if you know maddie & mat, you would know they don't like to take off others. they like to try & do it on their own. this time it's different, they actually need all the help they can get with this incredibly bad timing of terrible news. any donations large or small to help this committed couple would be greatly appreciated. anything you can spare would not go to waste & would help maddie & mat in this desperate time of need. maddie & mat will be able to withdraw money raised when it's needed most, whether it be to pay for a household bill, fuel to fill up maddie's car, being able to do a grocery shop, pay a mortgage repayment or as simple as buying nappies for the new baby when it's here. it is completely safe, just click on the "donate" button & you can leave a message or even donate anonymously if you wish. even if by easing some of their financial burden, so maddie & mat can focus on mat's health & their baby, then at least we know we have helped in some way.
life can be full of lemons but it can also be full of love. thanking everyone from the bottom of our hearts - from maddie's sister emma & people who love maddie & mat. xx
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