Pedaling Forward After a Cancer Diagnosis
World-Leading Cancer Care Brings Peace of Mind
Seventeen years ago, when North Marshfield resident, Matthew DeLuca began a quest to give back to others, through a charitable bike ride, he never envisioned for a moment that he would one day be personally impacted.
In late spring 2010, when he noticed a lump above his collarbone, he initially passed it off as a pulled muscle from one of his gym workouts. When a few months went by and the lump remained, however, his nonchalance shifted to concern.
During a physical, a precautionary CT scan was ordered to assess the lump, and in October 2010, the diagnosis of a rare form of Hodgkin Lymphoma, Stage IV was confirmed. “The diagnosis was shocking to us,” recalls Carol, Matt’s wife of 34 years. “Matt is extremely fit, athletic, and lives an overall healthy lifestyle.”
When the cancer diagnosis really began to sink in, Matt considered the implications of commuting into Boston regularly for treatments. When he learned that he could receive world-leading treatment only 12 miles from his home at Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center in clinical affiliation with South Shore Hospital, he immediately had peace of mind. “Dr. Freter, my oncologist and the entire team at South Shore Hospital and the Cancer Center became my family. They treated me like I was the only patient there.”
Determined not to let cancer get him down, Matt continued to persevere, training for a 200-mile, charitable bike ride just days after completing his final chemotherapy treatment. Matt had participated in the Pan Mass Challenge for almost two decades, but never before as a cancer patient. “The extraordinary significance of the ride this year hit me emotionally in a way I’ve never been touched before,” remarked Matt.
The specialized care available at Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center in clinical affiliation with South Shore Hospital, allows patients like Matt local access to world leading cancer care that is unavailable elsewhere in our region.
“To know I was able to receive the very best treatment, close to home, was significant—especially during my weak points in chemotherapy. I know I had more energy because of it,” recalled Matt.