Matty’s Story – ‘I wish to go to a Blue Jays game’

Matty, age 14, brain cancer. Submitted photo.

Matty, age 14, brain cancer

Matthew, or Matty as he’s known, is a typical 14-year-old who bobs his head to hip-hop music, plays video games and prefers his plate heaping with pizza, sushi, or a chocolate and cherry filling infused Black Forest cake.

Matty’s real passion is baseball, a love he shared with his great grandfather who passed away three years ago. He plays the sport and fervently follows the Toronto Blue Jays. At his last Little League game, in the spring of 2021, Matty found the courage to pitch. He struck out the first two batters in six pitches and when the third batter hit the ball, Matty threw to first base and got him out. When it was his turn on home plate, Matty hit two runners in and made it home himself. His mom Tamara said that was the best game he ever played.

The momentum of that game gave Matty the courage to fight through his diagnosis of rare brain cancer that summer. Matty even named his tumour “Jack Sass”, and he told his mom, and his dad Chris, that he was tough, and he was going to “kick it”. Matty went through four rounds of chemotherapy, several surgeries, and four weeks of radiation. Following a surgery that removed 80 per cent of his tumour, Matty could no longer walk, or sit up, and had to re-learn how to swallow and talk. His Little League awarded him the Most Inspirational Player award at their closing ceremonies.

Matty is now in Grade 9 and is in his first year of high school. “He is working hard with his physio to slowly be able to do the things he did before,” said Tamara. “He still has a long road ahead of him and we are learning patience.”

Matty’s priority is getting back on the baseball diamond and on May 15th, he’s throwing the first pitch at a Toronto Blue Jays game at Rogers Centre! Accompanied by his parents and younger sister Kinsley, Matty will be swinging that arm again. Memories of his last game helped him fight through his diagnosis and treatment, so it’s no surprise that he wished to play ball!

Hope is essential for children with critical illnesses, and its life-changing power is unlocked when wishes like Matty’s are granted. Together we can continue to transform lives, one wish at a time.

Hope is essential for children with critical illnesses and you can unlock its life-changing power.