Matt & Emily 3

On Friday, August 7th, Hope Strengthens Foundation (HSF) was honored to visit the home of Matt & Emily Feighner in Michigan.

Nearly four years ago, Matt was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma. With the wonderful support of Emily and his family, Matt faced this enormous challenge head-on and following six months of chemotherapy, he beat cancer!

Less than a year later, Matt was snowboarding in Michigan and suffered a serious fall. The momentum and force of his landing caused his neck to snap back shattering the C5 vertebrae in his neck. Matt spent three weeks in intensive care battling for his life before he was stabilized enough to be transferred to a rehabilitation hospital. Matt had injured his spinal cord and no longer had movement of his hands or anything below his shoulders.

Similar to his battle against cancer, Matt is once again taking on this fight with a tremendous spirit. Following the accident, Emily moved back home to care for Matt and they were married last year. Matt is now in a wheelchair and faces significant challenges, but he and Emily are confident that there is nothing that they cannot overcome.

Thanks to our incredible network of donors and supporters, we were able to quickly help make a difference by covering legacy medical expenses associated with Matt’s cancer treatment as well as nursing and rehabilitation bills associated with his current needs.

Matt and Emily recently moved into a home that met most of Matt’s accessibility needs. There was one key area of the home that required significant modifications. In order to accommodate Matt’s handicap accessible van, the garage entrance to the home had to be raised and required a new door and track. Once again, thanks to our donors and supporters, we were able to purchase the new garage door for Matt.

While this may seem like a minor modification for most of us, it’s extremely important for Matt to transition safely from his wheelchair to the van. If he was unable to park in the garage during inclement weather, Matt would be exposed to the elements, creating significant health and safety challenges.

Near the end of our visit with Matt and Emily, they presented us with a beautiful gift that we are thrilled to share with each of you. Please take a moment to view the following video that details their story and HSF’s efforts to help make a positive difference in their lives:

We are truly grateful to Matt and Emily for this special gift!

– HSF

PS – Special thanks to Justin Razmus at 616 Media for putting together the video.