Community day to help Freeport boy fighting cancer
By Diane Orris Acerni
Published: Friday, May 17, 2013, 3:41 a.m.
The junior high school years are often remembered as an awkward and painful time for those who can view them as ancient history. Matt Wolfe of Freeport did not get much opportunity to experience those years. He was too busy fighting something bigger and badder.
Diagnosed with T-cell Lymphoma at 12, Matt missed most of junior high school due to his disease and the sometimes brutal treatment for it.
Ninth grade was not much different, as Matt's absenteeism remained high. But a change in the medical game plan helped this young fighter, who appears to be prevailing. Matt received a bone marrow transplant.
Although this restorative procedure is rigorous and risky, Matt endured it and several setbacks since with resilience. The feedback, fortunately, has been positive, both in the medical lab results and from a medical team at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh described as “cautiously optimistic.”
“They feel it went surprisingly well,” says Matt's father, Scott Wolfe.
“But, Matt likes school and wants to get back,” Scott adds. “He's ready to return to being a normal kid.”
The organizers of the Buffalo Township Community Day in Butler County have chosen to donate proceeds from this year's fundraiser to Matt and his family.
According to Betsy Olson, chair of the community day committee, “The school nurse lets us know if there is a student within the district who has experienced extensive medical problems or other hardships. If there is no one identified, we contribute to Freeport's Meals on Wheels and food bank.”
Matt's battle against lymphoma was known to many, and his recommendation to the festival's committee was readily accepted.
Olson is excited about the activities planned for Sundaywhen the 19th Buffalo Township Community Day is held at the Lernerville Speedway.
“There is no charge for parking or admittance,” Olson said. “But we will donate the proceeds from our Chinese auction to the Wolfe family.”
Olson invites community members to expand their wardrobes with custom-made T-shirts that will send a message of support and the profits from their sale to this family. Donations from area individuals, groups and businesses helped to fund production of the shirts, which include the names of these sponsors in their design.
It is hoped that Matt will be well enough to attend this township tradition that has adopted the motto “Unity in Community.”
Matt's mom, Sherri Wolfe, affirms this sentiment. “I just want everyone to know how grateful we are. The support of our community has helped so much — it means the world to us.”
With continued help, there is much hope that the world of this ninth-grader can be fully restored so he can get on with his life plans. Matt intends to use his summer to gain strength for the return to school.
As part of his exercise regimen, Matt hopes to perform many repetitions of his favorite upper body workout while seated in a new fishing boat with his grandfather this summer.
His family, friends and well-wishers from the community are unified in their hope that Matt's next report will be “How I spent my summer vacation fishing,” by 10th-grader, Matt Wolfe.
Diane Orris Acerni is a Leader Times correspondent.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- No one injured in clothes dryer explosion
- Plumcreek fire victim identified
- Man stabs couple who took him in, police say
- Park structure at center of Ford City investigation
- Kittanning vigil planned for mother in fatal collision
- Belmont Complex plans ribbon-cutting to show off $2M in renovations
- Kittanning vigil honors mother of 3
- Ford City OKs 3 police officers
- Tentative budget keeps tax steady