GRAND ISLAND, N.Y. (WIVB) – A Grand Island man walks from his home town to Yankee Stadium to raise awareness for ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease in 2011.
Now he’s facing a huge health challenge of his own.
Matt Mondoux’s 7-year-old daughter, Brynn, says she’s proud of her dad for walking the grueling 300 plus miles to Yankee Stadium.
In 2011, he took the journey to raise money for ALS research. She said, “he does a lot of good things for people.”
Mondoux also served 10 years in the army after 9/11, in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Now he’s fighting another battle, kidney cancer.
He said the hardest part is telling Brynn. He said, “My daughter, we had a talk with her. That daddy has something in his body that needs to be removed, simply because it’s going to make daddy better.”
Doctors will remove a 5-centimeter tumor from his kidney. Friends and family donated $11 thousand dollars in just 48 hours to help Mondoux and his wife with medical bills.
Matt Mondoux said, “I never knew what it felt like, what it would be to receive a gift, and its very overwhelming. At the same time, it’s really humbling.”
He says being on the receiving side this time, was a reality check. Seeing how quickly funds came in to help him, he’s now inspired to donate more to others touched by cancer. He said, “Cancer just messed with me, and it’s time to kick it up a notch. I’m inspired just from the people who donated to me,” he said.
He will be creating a donation page to challenge the community to donate to one of three cancer based charities. He said, “I’m holding up one of these green cards right now, the green card for Roswell, and if you have one of these, I think it’s your social responsibility to step it up a notch. Everyone knows someone that has either fought, who is fighting or who has perished from cancer. And I think it’s our social resposnbility, instead of ignoring that, to step up and be a part of the fight.”
Over the weekend Mondoux had the tumor removed from his kidney and is now recovering. If you’d like to learn more about any of the three charities he is supporting, head to these respective websites: The American Cancer Society, Roswell Park Cancer Institute and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.