…88 Days Until Race Day
Matt is a Snowdrop Foundation scholarship recipient, a 14-year cancer survivor and close friends with the only 2 Houston Astros National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum Inductees, Craig Biggio and Jeff Bagwell.
If those attributes don’t make him cool enough to you, maybe my opinion of him will.
I’m convinced that no matter what he wants to do in life, including being president, Matt will achieve it.
The following is an article that was written in his school paper about him. The article was written by his classmate, Samantha Villareal and it pretty much sums up the Matt that I’ve known for over 10 years now.
He’s run 3 miles with me, run on a treadmill next to me and played softball with me. Now that he’s 21, he still needs to have a beer with me.
“Freshman Matt‘s height of 4 feet 3 inches is not a hindrance in his everyday lifestyle. That’s the way he was made and it’s not something he has a problem with or feels the need to complain about.
He was born with one of the most common types of dwarfism called achondroplasia, a bone growth disorder. Matt has normal intelligence and can live out the same lifespan as people without the condition; however his height and size are disproportional to his body.
He has two siblings, one who attends middle school and the other attends elementary school. Everyone in his family, including his two younger brothers are of normal size but it doesn’t bother him. “My parents joke and tell me that my brothers are the ones that are different not me.” Matt said.
Because of his size, there are sports such as baseball and football that are difficult for him but he doesn’t avoid them. He participates in what he enjoys and makes sure that he misses out on nothing. “There are things that I obviously cannot do, and most things are really hard but I still do it, like baseball.”said Matt.
As an athletic trainer, athletes tower over him. He runs from one side of the field to the other, catering to the needs of the football players, making sure they’re fully hydrated and ready to play. He observes the players throughout the game and is available to any athlete in need of medical assistance. He’s dedicated and loves what he does.
When Matt was in kindergarten, he was diagnosed with leukemia 27 days before his 6th birthday and was cured 3 years later. Although he is now cancer free, he is still able to provide a sense of hope to patients fighting cancer.
Matt has met his idol Craig Biggio through an organization called The Sunshine Kids, and ever since they have been close friends. Matt said the opportunities he gets to meet people he admires encourages him.
He is aware that there is a reason for the way he was made and because of his motivation from God, it’s encouraging for him to know that he can use his past experiences and his everyday lifestyle to reach out to others in a way not many others in the world can.
“Cancer is a blessing in disguise,” Matt says. Cancer has given Matt a chance to reach out to all kinds of people.
As once said on the TV show, “Little People, Big World”, Matt’s life motto is: ‘I can do everything everybody else can do, just in a different way’.” – Samantha Villareal
4 sets of this: 3 minutes of non-stop heavy punches on the heavy bag immediately into 7 squats of 225 lbs immediately followed by 10 seconds of arm hangs immediately into 12 alternating lunges with 135 lbs. To finish it off, we did 2 sets of: 10 hanging knee raises, 10 burpees and 20 walking lunges with a 25 lb plate overhead.
As tough as it was, I had fun with it thinking about how much fun you have in life.
Happy and beyond blessed to know you and your family, Matty.
Who will you meet tomorrow?