Matt Power - Matt's Respite Retreats, Weymouth

Matt’s story

On 20th September 2010, aged 38 I was diagnosed with bowel cancer with secondary to the liver.

When I was first diagnosed, I felt like I was on a roller coaster. I was lonely, angry, frustrated, helpless and scared. I was also really concerned about the impact on all my loved ones, my mum whose late husband had been diagnosed with cancer of the oesophagus just 5 months earlier, and my partner (now my wife) who was with me on the day of diagnosis.

“My advice to others coping with cancer (and this includes their carers) is this: talk to others and accept help, don’t turn people away and be a martyr, its seriously helps to accept your situation.”

“The day we found out I had cancer was when we were supposed to start the first process for IVF. Following a scan in May 2012 we found that the cancer had spread to both sides of my lungs. I was told that treatment from here on would be non-surgical and was put on a course of more “YUMMY” chemotherapy.

Many people say that I look well from the outside, so it’s a good job that we don’t walk around inside out. Since being diagnosed there have been some really tough times, but also some good times, some large, some small, when these come along you embrace them with both arms. In 2012 I became a married man, with a beautiful wife and all my friends and family around me.

Since then, when able to dodge treatments, we have managed to make it back to NZ and have also managed a few holidays and short breaks away. My advice to others coping with cancer (and this includes their carers) is this: talk to others and accept help, don’t turn people away and be a martyr, it seriously helps to accept your situation.

If someone crosses the street or tries sprinting around the aisles of your local shop trying to avoid you, it doesn’t mean they’re a bad person, just that they don’t understand what this illness is about and how to deal with it.

Like many others, going through treatment and surgery, it’s been a long journey but one thing I’ve learnt is that sharing my knowledge and experience can help others”.

Matt lived for each day and tried various treatments. They even tried clinical trials at the Royal Marsden to fight his cancer.

Matt and Mel went on to do IVF and now have a beautiful daughter. She sadly didn’t get to meet her dad but your support to raise funds for this charity can make a difference for other people and their families in the future.

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Our holiday home is spacious with a well equipped kitchen. Renting our caravan enables us to provide

those affected by cancer

short breaks.