Matt has fun at the seaside

The first contact 4 Cancer Group had from Matt was an email he sent from his hospital bed. He was obviously struggling, not only with his shock diagnosis of AML (Acute Myeloid Leukaemia) but also with the effect his illness was having on his two young children, “as Daddy can no longer play with them,” and on his wife, who was losing work hours rushing between school runs and hospital trips. He signed off with a truly selfless: “even if I can't make it with the treatments, the wife and kids need a break.”

As with so many of the family stories we hear, behind Matt’s almost flippant understatement we could sense his desperation at not being there and being healthy and strong for his family, his terrible anxiety about what it was doing to them and his concerns for the future, “I will do everything possible to win this as I’ve a lot of things in life to do yet.”

Matt’s treatment schedule was extremely rigorous, sometimes involving hospital stays of between 30 to 50 days at a stretch. “It’s so hard to explain what this does to the body and the after effects… well wow… nothing prepared me for the pain.”

Luckily there was a timely gap in his schedule which meant he could go with his wife and two little girls for a short break at Butlins just before his final round of chemo. As the break was confirmed, Matt commented: “You have put a huge smile on my face and made my family’s day… it’s a fantastic thing you are doing for us.”

As the break approached Matt and his family got more and more excited - and they weren’t disappointed. Matt even emailed from their break to say, “Kids are having an awesome time thanks to you and your charity!”

As planned, Matt returned from his trip straight back into hospital for “one last fight to win this battle.” Then we received the best email ever: “I’ve finished my last round of chemotherapy on Saturday and now it’s just time to recover from the effects - but also the results from my bone marrow are awesome. It’s showing zero cancer and I have won. The doctors expect me to fully recover.”

Matt’s summary of his experience with 4 Cancer Group: “2018 has been a roller coaster year; to go from being a normal healthy very active 34 year old to being diagnosed with leukaemia. Your help has made it possible for my family to get together again and just have fun at the sea side. The kids missed out on loads of things due to me having chemotherapy so it was nice for them to go wild and just be kids and have fun. Words can't describe how happy you made me and my family. Thank you is not enough.”

“Awesome charity, awesome people.”

© 4 Cancer Group 2018