CLARK, NJ — St. Joseph High School student Matt Hall will be featured in a story highlighting the work of The Valerie Fund on CBS This Morning Saturday between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m.
In October 2016, Hall, a Clark resident, had just started his junior year and was in the middle of Cross Country track season, when he started experiencing back pain.
"I thought it was just a pulled muscle from running. Within a week, my life changed forever. My family's lives were changed forever. The doctors found cancer in my back and my hip. I was diagnosed with Burkitt's Leukemia, a rare and aggressive cancer," Hall said.
Hall was treated at the Valerie Center at Morristown Medical Center. He said that the doctors, nurses, social workers and other members of the staff became part of his family. The Valerie Fund provided the hospital with a VGo robot so that he could participate in his high school classes remotely.
The Valerie Fund is a not-for-profit organization established in 1976 in memory of nine-year-old Valerie Goldstein by her parents, Ed and Sue. Its mission is to provide support for the comprehensive health care of children with cancer and blood disorders.
"I don't feel like I'm just another patient at the hospital to the doctors and nurses. I know they really care that I get better. It's not just a job to them," Hall explained. "To also see the social workers and other staff helped... to ensure that I can keep up with my schoolwork so I can graduate on time. They made every day less difficult. That meant so much to me."
The high school student is appreciative that The Valerie Fund has helped his family and is now giving back.
"It is important to me that others receive the same support. Please consider joining my team by making a donation and even participating in The Valerie Fund Walk with me," Hall adds. "I'm not planning to walk, by the way, so good luck keeping up with me!"
The Valerie Fund Walk & JAG Physical Therapy 5K Run takes place on Saturday, June 10, in Verona, New Jersey. Runners and walkers can register here. If you cannot participate, you can help donating to Team Stand Tall for Hall.
"On Good Friday 2017, my doctor told me that I am cancer-free and my treatment has ended," Hall said. "I am so happy that I am finally back to normal."