Meet Matthew

Matthew seemed to have a cold he just couldn't shake. But when a chest X-ray showed a severely enlarged thymus, he was rushed to St. Jude by helicopter.

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Matthew is the very definition of outgoing. One of his claims to fame is that he never forgets a name. “If he doesn't know you, he's gonna meet you,” guarantees his dad, Chris. That’s just Matthew’s way – at the hospital, on the Little League field and beyond.

St. Jude patient Matthew

St. Jude patient Matthew

One recent morning, Matthew was engaged in spirited play with four other kids in a waiting room of the hospital. All but one was bald from chemotherapy. Otherwise, you would never have guessed they were sick. It was astounding to reflect that before St. Jude opened, energetic Matthew would have had only a 4% chance of survival.

St. Jude patient Matthew

Ching Hon Pui, MD with St. Jude patient Matthew

In September 2017, Matthew seemed to have a cold he couldn’t shake. But a chest X-ray showed a severely enlarged thymus – sometimes a sign of leukemia. There was no time to spare. He was brought to St. Jude by helicopter. “He was very sick,” remembered his dad. “He was on a ventilator for a week or longer.”

Treatments invented at St. Jude have helped push the overall childhood cancer survival rate from 20% to more than 80% since it opened more than 50 years ago, and we won’t stop until no child dies from cancer.

Male patient Matthew Fulcher posing with dad in hospital hallway

St. Jude patient Matthew with his dad, Chris

Once his St. Jude care team stabilized him, Matthew began sailing through cancer treatment. In all, he will receive about two-and-a-half years of chemotherapy.

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