A West Kelowna man is asking for the community’s help as he battles stage four lung cancer.
Matthew Bennett was working as an entrepreneur, running a risk management consulting business when over the last year, he started dealing with debilitating migraines and a ongoing cough.
A neurologist told him he was just dealing with run-of-the-mill migraine headaches and that it was nothing to worry about. But on Jan. 10, 2021, he was rushed to the hospital due to difficulty breathing.
That’s when he and his family found out he had cancer in his lungs, which had already spread to his hip bones, his ribs, as well as his brain. Doctors told the family, the cancer started in his lungs and resulted in a secondary brain tumour the size of a grapefruit.
Melanie Bennett, Matthew’s sister, said oncologists have stated his cancer is due to a genetic mutation that may have been set off after he was involved in a vehicle collision when he was 17-years old. The traumatic collision occurred on Glenrosa Road and required five major life-saving surgeries and three years of recovery for Matthew.
“It’s shocking and surreal. I was going through some health issues when I gave birth to my son, and he was there helping me through it, coaching me with my breathing,” Melanie said.
“Little did we know, he already had cancer spreading in his body. I just can’t believe this is happening to him.”
She said the type of cancer Matthew has is slow-growing cancer that usually occurs in people over 50 years old with a life expectancy of five years. Matthew is only 37.
Despite the grim prognosis, Melanie said her brother is still his usual upbeat and positive self and is working on resting and recovering.
“He’s so brave about this and he’s talking about it like it’s just the next adventure for him.”
“Now, we’re just doing our best to help him, especially financially. Since he’s self-employed, we’re helping him and raising funds for him so he can just focus on his health and getting better,” she said.
To donate to Matthew, visit his fundraising page.