We were recently inspired by Mat Welch’s CureSearch Gold DIY fundraiser and his commitment to running four — that’s right FOUR — Tough Mudder races in one day. One of his goals? To raise $10,000 for children’s cancer research. We talked with Mat who shared more about his story below:
1. What inspired you to start fundraising for CureSearch through the Gold program?
Last year the most selfless, loving and funniest 7-year-old girl I’ve ever met came into my life as she was battling for hers. It didn’t take long before she had my whole heart. Last summer I ran the Tough Mudder multiple times in one day while raising money for childhood cancer through a charity associated with them. Sydney and I continued to grow closer, making memories I will hold onto for a lifetime. I was asked to be her godfather at her baptism. This past October she became terminal. Nothing else matter than showering this Warrior Princess in as much love as possible with the limited time we had left. God called Sydney home in February 2018, three years to the day from when she was first diagnosed. The loss of her is by far the hardest thing I have ever experienced and lit a fire deep in me to passionately pursue the end of childhood cancer by raising awareness and funding for research. A close friend who does one of the Ultimate Hikes every year told me about CureSearch.
2. What was Sydney’s diagnosis?
Sydney was diagnosed with Wilms Tumor in February 2015. She was 8 years old when she passed away on February 28th, 2018.
3. What would you tell others who are interested in CureSearch Gold, but hesitate to start their own fundraiser?
These kids have to fight for their lives every day. They didn’t choose this. Compared to what they undertake, starting a fundraiser is nothing! What greater cause could we be a part of than helping save the lives of children? Whatever fear you may have in regards to fundraising, silence it and draw on the courage of the warriors who wake every day to literally the fight of their life. If you are scared of not hitting a goal you set, focus on the fact no matter what you raise it will go directly towards funding childhood cancer research and finding cures. Don’t think you will raise enough? Try looking in the eyes of a parent whose child is dying of cancer and tell them you think you can’t raise enough to cause change. See what they say. No amount is too little. Every bit brings us one step closer and you have the privilege to be a part of that!
4. What is your hope for the future of childhood cancer?
It’s not a hope. It’s the reality that cancer’s days are numbered. Whether that is 1,000 or 7,000 days, they are numbered. I know one day we will never have to tell parents their child has cancer and this is nothing we can do to treat them.
5. Why do you support CureSearch?
Knowing the greatest percentage of every dollar donated helps in developing new drugs and finding cures for pediatric cancer is why I choose to partner with CureSearch. There are plenty of childhood cancer non-profits out there but finding one who isn’t using your donations to cover overhead costs and pay salaries is hard. I found that in CureSearch.
Going Gold like Mat is simple! For example, ask your friends to make a donation instead of sending a gift or host a bake sale at your next summer picnic. For more ideas on ways to go gold this summer, find us on our website at curesearchgold.org.
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