Run for Matthew: 2013

Sunday, April 21, 2013

<< Meet Matthew >>

Matthew (Matt) McComb:

  • born 15 years ago, in 1997
  • healthy baby boy, very proud parents

The Early Years

Right after Matt turned 18 months old, his pediatrician noticed there was something different about our baby boy.  He suggested that we have him tested. We took him to a pediatric neurologist who diagnosed him with PDD (Pervasive Development Disorder), a form of Autism. Immediately, we started Matt in a daily early intervention program.  We were scared.

Little Milestones

At first they weren’t sure if Matt would ever speak.  With intensive therapy (speech, occupational, ABA, etc.) he eventually overcame that life-giving hurdle. We felt that it was the happiest day of our lives when for the first time he finally said “Momma, Dada”!  But this was not the end of the road for Matt.  At the age of three he began to attend school at the Volunteers of America Early Learning Center, where he received two more years of therapy.  
Present Day Survivor

Well today, not only does Matt speak, but he sings, acts and is AMAZING.  Matt is well loved by everyone. He has beaten the odds and is doing great. He is a sophomore at New Dorp High School with a 90% average. Matt has a strong belief and faith in God. Matt is a “survivor” (I guess you can say he takes after his mom, Michele, who is a three year breast cancer survivor).  

Matt also “survived” Hurricane Sandy, which hit and devastated several costal regions in the NYC area in October 2012.  At this time, he personally lost all his possessions (his room, clothes, video games, scripts, yearbooks, baby books, photos, awards, etc.)  

Challenged Again

More than any 15 year old should have to bear, Matt is now facing yet another “obstacle” in his life. He has just been diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and must undergo treatments of chemotherapy. As you can imagine, we are in shock.  We just found out and will be heading to Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center tomorrow to have PET and CT Scans and meet his doctors.  No place any parent would want to bring their child.
We know the next year is going to be extremely hard, emotionally and financially. We are still struggling after Hurricane Sandy, which we thought was the worst experience of our lives. We were wrong, this is. We need all your prayers for our beautiful and extraordinary son, who has brought so much joy to so many people. He has graced the stage in many roles: Sky Masterson (Guys and Dolls), Reverend Shaw Moore (Footloose); Curly (Oklahoma), Leading Player (Pippin), Teyve (Fiddler on the Roof), Old Joe (Damn Yankees) to name a few.

Now our Matt must take his most important role - to be strong, fight the cancer, overcome the odds and be a “survivor” once again.  

**We are so grateful to Natalie. She is a wonderful person and this blog is one of the nicest things anyone has ever done for us.**

**Also, if you are looking at this via mobile device or app you have to view the web version to see the donate button over on the right sidebar. Thanks again, and lets help Matthew beat cancer!**