He surpassed his fundraising goal of $5,000, so he's upped it to $8,000.
Matteo DeVincenzo is a recent Princeton University graduate who expected to work at a NYC law firm this summer - but COVID hit and his start date was suspended indefinitely. Suddenly, he had a lot of time on his hands. He took the LSAT in preparation for applying to law schools, he trained for and completed his first marathon, and he became a connoisseur of craft beers.
Matt has now combined those two avocations of running and enjoying local brews (in moderation, of course), and created a fundraiser to support ACS-funded research.
His 30 states in 30 days driving and running journey started on Nov. 21 in his hometown of Port Jefferson, NY. There to see him off, along with his parents, aunt, and grandmother, were Megan Stewart and June Ingraham, senior managers, Community Development, in the Northeast Region.
Since then, Matt has been been to 19 more states. When in Fairfield, CT, he spoke with Kelsey McGettigan, who shared with him the good work that the Relay For Life of Fairfield does; in Boston he met Dylan Lazerow, who gave Matt a tour of the Hope Lodge there; when in College Station PA, he got a visit from Dan Heist, the former chair of our national Board of Directors; and while in Georgia last week, he stopped at our Hope Lodge in Atlanta to meet Tim Phillips, our chief legal and risk officer (pictured above).
Megan and June also have arranged for staff and volunteers to call Matt during some his his long-haul driving stints, including several Road To Recovery and Reach To Recovery volunteers; Paul Gruol, a crack fundraiser who previously shared tips with Matt; and Ramon Bermo, director, Community Development - Endurance, in the Northeast Region, who provided encouragement on the running and endurance side of things.
Matt is running at least 15 miles in each state, for a total of 450 miles, and sampling local brews along the way. His trip is scheduled to end in Nevada on Dec. 20.
Why is he doing this? As you might guess, cancer has impacted his family. His grandfather, Vincent, died of colon cancer in 2009. His grandmother, Patricia, has battled both ovarian cancer and breast cancer over the last 20 years. And, his aunt, Patricia, has fought breast cancer for the last six years. "There are no words to describe the amount of suffering that an individual - and their family - undergoes when fighting this disease," said Matt. "On this journey, I hope to do my part in honoring those impacted, while enduring a form of hardship on my own."
“Matteo’s itinerary is ambitious,” said Megan. “We’re excited to support him and even connecting him with cancer survivors along the way. . . We’re grateful to our colleagues in other Regions who have agreed to meet Matteo as he comes through their states."
ACS gave Matt 30 different customized billboards to use in photos he takes in each state.
Matt's journey has garnered some nice media attention:
You can learn more by visiting Matt's fundraising page.
You can also follow him on Facebook, Instagram, and Strava.