Matt's Ride to Conquer
Support My Ride to Conquer Cancer®
Welcome to my Personal Page! The Ride to Conquer Cancer presented by Silver Wheaton benefiting BC Cancer Foundation, is a two-day cycling journey, through the beautiful Pacific region taking place in the summer. It will be a challenge in a number of ways, but with my bike, my helmet, and your generosity, a real impact will be made!
When I decided to ride last year first I thought would I be able to raise enough money to ride. Well yes, I was and thanks to my amazing generous friends and family I was able to raise just over $8,000. I cannot thank you all enough for supporting something that means so much to me. Last year I rode because I wanted to ride for me to say thank you to a foundation that helped save my life. This year I am riding because I want to help raise money to help save more lives. But most importantly those who do not have a voice in the fight. I want to help the little children who at too young of an age to get diagnosed. The grandparents who just want to see their grandchildren one more day, or the mother and father who want to see their child on their wedding day. Too many people are leaving this world to soon because of this horrible disease. The money we raise on this ride goes to making sure that these people can enjoy these moments in life. Please read my story and donate so that more people can still be here just like me.
On April 9th,2014 my life changed forever. At the age of 28, with a new house, puppy and a beautiful wife of 7 months I was diagnosed with cancer. In one split second our whole lives were flipped upside down. Words cannot describe the emotions that I had that day. It is a feeling that I wish no one has to experience. I was diagnosed with Nasalpharengeal Carcinoma, a tumor was growing in my nasalpharynx, the cancer had also spread as far as my lymph nodes. After finding this all out from my oncologist at the BC cancer agency in Surrey, I found out that in the next two weeks I was about to start 7 weeks of treatment. My oncologist called it radical treatment of both chemotherapy and radiation. 35 radiation treatments and 7 chemotherapy treatments to be exact. Radiation treatment leaves the patient with many side effects, for me one of those was severe irritation and swelling of my mouth and throat. Before treatment I was given the option of having a g-tube (a tube which is inserted into your stomach so you can pump nutrition into your body), a decision that I am very glad I chose. About Halfway through treatment I lost the ability to talk a side effect from the radiation. The scaring inside my mouth and throat had gotten so bad that I could not eat food or even drink water. The only way I could receive nutrition and hydration was through my g-tube. Had it not been for my g-tube I may not be here today. By this point of my treatment I was bedridden and only getting out of bed to go to my treatments. The treatment actually hospitalized me twice as I was not doing well. But I am a fighter and nothing was going to stop me. I just had to take it one day at a time.
I am here because I had the love and support of an amazing friends, family and THE MOST AMAZING WIFE in the world. She stood by me when I could not be strong. She let me fight the fight that I needed to fight. I had my moments when I thought maybe it was my time, maybe I should just take my last breath and let go. I didn't want to be a burden anymore, but I knew that I was meant for so much more. Deep down I knew that my life was meant to serve a greater purpose than leaving this world so young. After 7 weeks, I had come to the end of my treatment, my battle was not done yet. The after effects of the radiation and chemo are worse in the weeks after treatment as they are at their highest levels. It was hard to be an athletic man and feel so frail. I don't want to sound vain but at the beginning of treatment I was 210 pounds and at my lowest after removing my g-tube I hit 179 pounds. I was not the man I used to be. The radiation left me partially bald, burned my skin, and dried up my saliva glands. My saliva glands would never be the same however, they are a lot better now than they were. It is a small price to pay to be alive.Months of slowly feeling better and days and days of boring daytime television I was slowly back to work and living life again. Thanks to some amazing friends who helped me get my strength back in the gym, breaking down barriers that at one point I never knew would be possible. They played a major role in me feeling like me again and they will never know how much it means to me. I have always enjoyed cycling and after much thought finally decided to buy a road bike. I knew that the ride to conquer cancer was something that I immediately wanted to do however last year I did not feel like I could handle the ride. This year I knew I had to ride, I have to give back to the organization that helped save my life. Every step of the way the BC Cancer agency was there for me. I truly mean it when I say the men and women that work at the clinic are AMAZING. They made hell seem that much more bearable. It is because of the amazing donations raised by fundraising like this that keep people like me alive. If I can help raise the dollars to help prevent someone else from going through what I did I will.
Cancer is not a positive thing in any kind of way. But I am grateful to be alive because of what I have been through. Appreciate life, enjoy ever minute because it can change in an instant. We will all be touched by cancer in our lives some closer than others.
Thank you for taking the time to read about my journey. There are not enough words to describe every thought and feeling I endured, but this is not about me, it is about raising money so that we don't have to read stories like this anymore. Please donate so that families are not torn apart by this horrible disease. So that there will no loner be goodbyes that come too soon because of Cancer. I promise over the course of 200 km I will be riding with the same strength in my veins that took me to hell and back. Let's end cancer!
Contribute to this powerful movement with a donation. Funds raised through the Ride to Conquer Cancer will support life-saving research and enhancements to care at the BC Cancer Agency, bringing hope to cancer patients in B.C. and beyond.
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