Three years ago, we introduced our generous community of donors, to Matt and Madison Bell and their inspiring love story. And they responded by providing them with hope for a future together.
Now 33, Matt has been battling skin cancer since he was 25. Together with his wife Madison, they have been through periods where no treatment options were available. Matt lived with an incurable cancer diagnosis and together they lived as happily as they could, in three-month increments between tests.
Eventually, thanks to the generosity of people like you, new drugs became available because of a successful clinical trial run right here in Manitoba.
When we first introduced Manitobans to Matt and Madison, they had recently celebrated a major milestone, their wedding. They were cautiously dreaming about adventures they would have the following summer, not really knowing what the future would bring in their journey with cancer.
Fortunately, donors like you were by their side along with CancerCare Manitoba’s dedicated oncology team. Their generous support funds research and clinical trials that have now given Matt and Madison more hope for the future than ever before.
Today, Matt is part of a targeted therapy treatment program which is working very well. It is shrinking the active cancer in his body and preventing it from growing and spreading. And, there’s no side effects, allowing Matt to live as he likes to say ‘like a normal person in their 30’s, which is pretty exciting’.
Most exciting of all is the newest addition to their family. After being told they would likely never have children due to the trauma Matt’s body has been put through, the couple was amazed to find out Madison was pregnant! Benjamin, now eight months old, is a miracle and has defied every odd to be here today.
“Having been self-employed for so long this is the first time in 10 years, I now have a boss”, laughs Matt. “Ben is in charge of both of us.” Benjamin is a strong, healthy, and joyful baby. It’s easy to see the happiness he brings to his parents’ lives. They are so grateful.
For as long as they can remember, Matt and Madison dreamed of living a normal life. Today, they are one step closer, thanks to the generosity of donors like you. Cancer has given them perspective on what’s important and they have always tried to live in the moment. Now, thanks to Matt’s newest treatment and the addition of Benjamin to their lives, they are hopeful and excited to be planning for the future.
“Ben has given us so much hope, so many reasons to live,” says Madison. “We imagine him on his first day of kindergarten or chasing him down the ski hill. We dance together in the kitchen and think about dancing at his wedding.”
“It has consistently been about newer treatments and the next options for us. Thanks to our committed care team, a collective vision for research, and the generosity of donors, we found a treatment that has renewed our hope for the future.”