In June 2009, Doreen CFA Juniors member Matthew Temby was diagnosed with medullary thyroid cancer, a rare from of cancer that causes tumours in hormone glands. Rallying to young Matthew’s cause, the Doreen CFA and Whittlesea Diamond Valley Group of brigades set up a trust fund, helping raise money to send Matthew to Washington DC to undergo experimental drug treatment.
Since that first trip, Matthew and his dad Steve Temby have been back to the US twice more – in early January and late February for follow-up treatments. Matthew and Steve are now preparing to pack their bags for their fourth visit to Washington and so far, early results are encouraging, with the tumour appearing to have shrunk in size.
Matthew is on the trial oral drug Vandetanib, a medication he is likely to continue to use until the end of 2011. At that point, doctors will assess whether the drug has reduced the tumour sufficiently to allow surgery to be undertaken.
For the present, Matthew will continue to use a tracheotomy tube to aid his breathing. Additional trips to Washington’s National Institute of Health are planned throughout the remainder of 2010 and into 2011.
Steve Temby said Matthew had never had a “Woe is me” attitude: “Matthew’s like, ‘Ok, I’ve got cancer but I’ll beat it,’ which is exactly the attitude you would wish for.”
Steve said the support from friends, family, work colleagues, Diamond Valley college and especially the CFA and CFA juniors has been tremendous. “Without the support of the CFA, I don’t know where we would be today,” he said.
Tax deductible donations can be made to the Matthew Tenby Trust Fund using Visa Card, MasterCard or PayPaypal at Matthew’s webpage