Matt was 16 when cancer came crashing into his world. It was 2012 and he was in his final years of high school education when his father was diagnosed with Lymphoma, a type of blood cancer. He didn't know what to expect.
"I was very oblivious to the word cancer and what was going on but what I wasn’t oblivious to was how fast the cancer and the treatment really took over and started to make Dad really sick."
Somewhere to find support...
Both Matt and his older sister were able to receive tailored support from Canteen after hearing the news.
Support that really helped them navigate their own thoughts and feelings around cancer, as well as connect with other young people who have had a similar experience.
Through Canteen, Matt and his sister were able to participate in overnight camps, programs and weekly counselling sessions.
"I later lost my dad on February 15th, 2013. Canteen gave me a safe space to be able to talk to someone and receive support from someone who really got it."
"Canteen was a place that I could go to which gave me a break from the real world."
How Matt advocates for other young people
In the years since joining Canteen, Matt has taken on roles in leadership, community events and as a Canteen youth ambassador.
He has held the position of Chair of the WA Local Leadership Group and participated in Life Cycle for Canteen.
Matt is committed to advocating for and sharing his story to help the other 23,000 young people impacted by a cancer diagnosis each year.