Matthew is the Program and Events Coordinator for the Upstate Cancer Center. Having started as a public school teacher Matthew is determined to bring awareness and support to those who share in his disease and those who have yet to learn about it. He was first diagnosed with bi-lateral carotid paragangliomas asymptomatic at the age of 25 after insisting on testing due to a familial history.
During the course of treatment a third tumor was discovered behind the ear near the brain. Both carotid tumors were successfully removed and the brain tumor was treated both surgically and with Gamma Knife radiation. A few years later elevated heart rate and palpitations lead to the discovery of pheos on both adrenal glands and a heart paraganglioma. All three were treated surgically at the NIH and Matthew is currently tumor-free. There have been nine documented cases of this disease in Matthew’s family including his father, who lost the battle due to complications with a heart paraganglioma in 2009, and his brother.
Matthew has long lived by the motto “Seven times down, eight times up” and hopes to help relay that to the fight for all pheo para related diseases and the efforts of the Pheo Para Troopers.