At just 12 months old, Matthew received a diagnosis of mixed pattern quadriplegic Cerebral Palsy. Although nonverbal, he found unique ways to communicate his needs, embarking on a remarkable journey through assisted technology, teaching himself to speak. By age 3, he transitioned from using single words and gestures to constructing sentences, becoming quite the conversationalist. His favourite topics include his beloved dog, Molly, recounting his remarkable achievements, and discussing gaming.

Matthew’s love for swimming was evident from a young age, starting at the Nepean Aquatic Centre when he was just 14 months old. Despite taking a break during his kindergarten years to focus on school, his passion for swimming never waned. The pandemic may have disrupted his plans to resume swimming in 2020, but it couldn’t dampen his spirit. In 2021, his interest was reignited, leading him to Ripples St Marys. With a determination to swim independently, he eagerly joined Rainbow Club in February 2022. Under the guidance of Kyle, his confidence and skills soared. Transitioning to Tiana’s instruction, Matthew’s progress accelerated, and he could now swim a lap unaided, a testament to his unwavering determination and inspiring spirit.

Grateful for Rainbow Club’s dedication, Matthew flourished not only in the pool but also outside of it. His athletic pursuits expanded, and he competed in school events such as the long jump, shot put, and discus. With unwavering determination and support from his physiotherapist, family, and friends, Matthew overcame obstacles to participate in events like the school cross country, leaving spectators in awe of his tenacity and spirit.

Introduced to Frame Running in 2022 by Leon from DeeJays, a sport specifically designed for people with mobility impairments, Matthew discovered a newfound passion. This activity, which involves running with the aid of a specially designed frame, not only provided him with a new way to stay active but also boosted his confidence and independence. He ultimately received his own RAD Frame runner in 2024 through the generosity of the Lions Club. He loves to run with his Dad at the Regatta and cannot wait to take his new frame down there to give it a good go.

Eager to share his journey, Matthew aims to showcase the possibilities through his YouTube channel. He plans to feature videos of him utilizing his frame runner, demonstrating how he overcomes physical challenges, alongside gaming content that reflects his other interests. With dreams of representing his country as a Paralympian, Matthew embodies resilience and determination, inspiring others with his boundless enthusiasm and drive.

All of us at Rainbow Club wish Matthew and his family luck in their pursuits and are grateful that Rainbow Club has contributed to his extraordinary journey.

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