Matty Garcia is the man. I have had the privilege of having him assigned to my cabin for the past two years at Camp Rising Sun. The Summer of 2015 though is when I actually had a chance to sit and talk with him. Being a counselor at CRS I had known that Matty had Medulloblastoma, brain cancer, as did I. But since Matty was very tired from the chemo and radiation in 2014, we didn’t really have a good chance to speak.
That changed this past summer. From our talk we had found out from each other that we had many similarities with our diagnosis’. Matty went through 52 weeks of Chemo and 38 days of Radiation, that would make me…o wait, it did make me, tired too. Could you imagine being tied to a table including your head which is clamped in a mask and you can’t move..and now a few days into it you start chemo once a week? Shortly after Matty’s 9th birthday he got his feeding tube..still doing chemo and missing school..-and friends and being able to run, that was the worst part of it for me too, the missing out on running around with your friends. Blood transfusions were scary at first but sadly became the norm. Matty went through all of this and much, much more and still came to camp. Speaking with me and sharing our stories has given this kid hope. Matty gives back and helps others by talking to them, he lets them feel the power of a child who knows. His mom’s local friends who contact her scared are told of all the choices and options they have to get help. Matty helps so much and truly lives life. He lives the ILL lifestyle. Seeing the little kid who was sooo skinny and thin last year bloom into the active kid he is, having fun, running around with friends was amazing to see. He did not let setbacks keep him back.
Keep on beating the odds Matty!