From a young age, Matt was active in sports and participated in everything from baseball and soccer to hockey and golf. Around middle school, Matt found his true passion and his life became eat, sleep, hockey. Matt was a sophomore in high school when one collision with an opposing player changed his life. During a play, the puck settled between Matt’s skates. A player from the opposing team collided with him from behind, sending him headfirst into the boards. The impact left him paralyzed from the neck down.
“One thing I was taught when playing hockey is when you get hit you get back up and continue to play. I sent that message to my body and my body didn’t receive it,” said Matt.
Matt spent three months at Shepherd Center, a rehabilitation center in Atlanta, Georgia. He missed two school terms, but was determined to catch up and graduate with his class. In 2012, he graduated high school and decided he wanted to go to college. “When all my friends talked about college, I thought to myself why shouldn’t I go? I knew if I wanted to get out of my comfort zone, I was going to have to push myself.” Matt says it was the best decision he made, he lived on campus and graduated in four years.
While attending college, he met the co-author for his book Line Change,
Todd Civin. Todd is the founder and owner of Civin Media Relations, a self-publishing company focusing on publishing stories by and about people with physical or emotional difference in an effort to share their stories with the world.
Matt’s book shares his first-hand account of rising to meet the challenges life threw at him with a “never quit” attitude. He wants his readers to know that life goes on despite challenges and adversity, you have to persevere and keep going.
The process to write his book took over two years. Now that Line Change
is published and in the hands of readers, Matt says, “The best part is seeing how the messages in the book are connecting with so many different people. Our target audience is young adults facing adversity head-on. But we have been getting messages from people who are well outside our target range who have told me that my book has positively impacted them.”
Matt has been a Numotion customer since 2010. Service Technician, Bill
says, “It’s an absolute pleasure to work with Matt and see him at home or school, his family and friends make you feel welcome, so polite and warming. One thing about Matt is he does NOT know the meaning of quit. If he sets out to do something he WILL do it.” With the help of his power wheelchair, Matt can do the things he loves with more independence and freedom.
Matt is a motivational public speaker and has delivered speaking performances to schools and civic organizations around the country. He is currently attending graduate school at his alma mater Stonehill College, pursuing a degree in Integrated Marketing Communications and aspires to have a career in sports marketing.