‘Live for today, hope for tomorrow’

  From the right: Suzy Matter, Colton Matter and Sandy Schultz, Colton’s grandmother. The three attended the regional meeting of the Seattle Guild Association in Sequim to thank the volunteers for their help in funding Colton’s recent successful leukemia treatments. Regional representative Sandy McFayden was the master of ceremonies for the event in concert with Carol Labbe, president of the Sequim Guild. Submitted photo

Sequim Gazette staff

Port Angeles cancer survivor Colton Matter was the guest of honor when volunteers for the Seattle Children’s Hospital gathered for a regional outreach luncheon Friday, Oct. 15, at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church.

Seattle Children’s Hospital Guild Association, the largest all-volunteer fundraising network for any hospital in the nation, hosted the event for all guilds in Clallam and Jefferson counties.

Colton’s mother, Suzy Matter, told those in attendance about the heartache of learning on Sept. 11, 2009, that Colton had acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

She described the chemotherapy, which began two days after he was diagnosed, and the search for a bone marrow donor. Remarkably, a perfect match was found — a European man in his early 20s who agreed to the procedure.

Colton read the thank-you letter he wrote to the man who saved his life.

Guild member Joy Miller said the cost of treatment was a grave concern until the family learned of Seattle Children’s policy of providing care without compensation for children in families needing assistance.

The family thanked all the guild members who work so hard to raise money for these needs.

Ready for school

Sandy Schultz, Colton’s grandmother, told of Colton’s numerous days in the hospital and the many ways Colton actually had fun during his hospitalization. She described the overwhelming support of the community, with numerous people becoming “Colton’s Army.”

The group heard too about the family’s faith and positive outlook throughout the ordeal, including the countless jokes and pranks Colton played on the family and nurses in the hospital.

Schultz said Colton still is required to endure a heavy regimen of medication, but he is cancer-free and has a positive future in store. He hopes to be able to return to school in January and it is likely that he will do so, Schultz said.

The regional outreach luncheon is one part of a larger effort by the hospital and guild office to “reach out” to the local guilds by providing support and information to guild members who raise money for the hospital.

Jan Hanson was the chairman for this week’s event.


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