SHEA, Matthew H. Philosophical thinker, family comedian, and Jimmy Fund Clinic patient, died at Boston Children’s Hospital on Wednesday, April 17, 2013. At 27 years old, he had the life perspective of someone well beyond his years.
Born in Boston on May 20, 1985, he was raised in Walpole, Massachusetts and graduated from Walpole High School with the class of 2004. Before his first battle with cancer, running track and putting to use his long strides was one of his greatest pleasures.
Matt went on to graduate from Tufts University with the class of 2008. It was at Tufts that he was introduced to his other great love, political theory. He excelled at his studies and the discussions around political science. He was the recipient of The Ellen C. Myers Memorial Prize for Academic Achievement; a prize given to students who achieve high scholarship standards in the face of adverse circumstances. Matt lived valiantly with cancer for over ten years. Throughout this time, and his five recurrences, Matt was strong and gracious, and fought these battles using humor and laughter as his most powerful weapons. Finding deep support and strength in his ‘Jimmy Fund Family’, Matt went on to volunteer at the Jimmy Fund Clinic during one of his all too brief remissions.
Inspired by the medical community that supported him he became a certified EMT and while at Tufts went with the Timmy Fund to the Dominican Republic to deliver medical care just 2 weeks after one of his cancer surgeries. Matt has been a resident of Rockport, Massachusetts for the past 4 years, moving there from Walpole. Matt enjoyed learning and world travel immensely, quickly making friends around the globe on his visits to Italy, France, Ireland, California, North Dakota, Costa Rica, The Dominican Republic, Bermuda and most recently Singapore.
The other ongoing memorials we have participated in for Matt relate to his other great passion, helping kids beat cancer.
- We are currently participating in Reid’s Ride, a bike ride in memory of one of Matt’s peers at The Jimmy Fund, that raises funds for teens and young adults with cancer.