A lot of people nowadays do things to help with cancer research or funding. Running is one of the more popular ways of raising awareness for cancer victims – it’s inspiring and it reaches a lot of people. Meet the 9-year-old who ran over 120 miles to raise money for kids with cancer.
Matteo Lambert (1) ran multiple races for his goal to reach at least 100 miles while raising money for children victims of cancer. Matteo ran each race wearing a different cape with the name and picture of a child that’s battling cancer. He also gave each medal and ribbon he won to the specific child he ran for.
“I feel like I’m just trying to help other people,” Matteo says. So far he’s ran races in 2 countries and 15 different states. In the process, he’s raised over $40,000 for Hopecam – a non-profit which tries to help children suffering from cancer and all the negative side-effects of its treatment (2).
Len Forkas, the Founder and Chairman of Hopecam had this to say for Matteo: “It’s an amazing goal for a 9-year-old to take on 100 miles over a summer. But that’s Matteo,”
Len’s own son was diagnosed with leukemia at the age of 9 which is why Len founded the organization in the first place.
“At the toughest time of his life when he needed to be with his friends the most, he was stuck at home going through cancer treatment.”
One of the main goals of the Hopecam initiative is to help children cancer victims stay in touch with their friends and with school while they are in treatment. Hopecam achieves that by installing video cameras in the schools of the children so that they can still participate in the classes and interact with their friends. Len first did this for his son, Matt, long before FaceTime and Skype were a thing.
“It made such a difference in his outcome knowing he hadn’t been forgotten by the people that meant the most to him.”
Matt is now alive and well and is 27-years-old, but there are plenty of other kids that Matteo runs for. He learned about the program during a school project and was inspired to help however he can. Hopecam soon found out about his efforts and awarded him with the Champion of Hope honor for all the good he has done. Matteo is also the champion in their Race for a Reason competition (3).
Because of all their hard work, Matteo and Hopecam were also noticed by the Apple Federal Credit Union and were rewarded through their #KindnessRocks campaign (4). Robert Sowell Sr., Senior VP of Apple FCU said that “What I’ve noticed from Len and also from Matteo is this comes from the heart. This is something they both deeply believe in,”
Robertson presented Len and Matteo with a check for $15,000.
Hopefully, people like Matteo Lambert and organizations like Hopecam will continue to do a lot of great work for those in need of help.