In 2002 when Matthew Larson was 2 1/2 years old he was diagnosed with choroid plexus carcinoma, a rare type of brain cancer. After nine months in the hospital, with several invasive surgeries, intense chemotherapy, and radiation, Matthew was disease-free. In 2006, he had his first recurrence. A second round of treatments led Matthew's mother Kelly, to create a foundation in his name. She wanted to help raise the awareness and funds needed to overcome pediatric brain tumors and to help the children and families affected by it.
During a short remission, a close family friend, Kirsten Kincade, decided to support the foundation by competing in the 2007 Hawaii Ironman World Championship (2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, 26.2 mile run) in honor of Matthew. This gave way to the concept of "IronMatt." He was strong, he was fearless and he was determined to cross the most famous finish line in sport with Kirsten. Matt did have one warning for her, "I can run very fast you know!"
Matthew did not make it to that finish line as he lost his five-year battle with brain and spinal cancer in April 2007.
During these difficult years, the Larson’s were blessed with an incredible team of doctors and nurses as well as friends, family, and a community who were there for them every step of the way. They envisioned how much more difficult the journey would be for those families without such amazing resources and the support they were so fortunate to experience. They often spoke about not only spreading awareness, but also how they wished they understood more about this terrible disease and how to cure it. So, they decided to take their own frustrations, fears, and most importantly hope for an eventual cure, and launch the Matthew Larson Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation.
Hopefully Matthew's story along with your support and contributions will enable our foundation to help other families facing this crisis and to fund the crucial medical research needed to find a cure. We appreciate your interest and we hope that you will join us in our fight to end this terrible disease.