Meet Super Dad: Mathew

“Eli is a happy boy who loves cars… he is the ultimate miracle story to be honest,” Mathew Morgan, Eli’s Dad, said.

In November, Eli will celebrate his third birthday with festivities no doubt involving playing with Lego and racing toy cars, two activities that currently top the list for Eli and Mathew’s favourite father-son activities.

Milestones and birthdays are incredibly special moments for Eli and his family, as this time last year he was undergoing surgery to remove the cancerous tumour in his chest.

WCH Foundation Super Dad Mathew with partner Kodie and son Eli.

Mathew and Kodie with their beautiful son Eli.

From the moment Mathew and his partner Kodie were told of the tumour by doctors to the time of surgery – Mathew said he found strength within himself he didn’t know he had.

He has shared his Super Dad story with us.

“At the routine 32-week scan it was discovered Eli’s heart wasn’t in the right spot. We did follow-up scans revealing a mass on his chest and pushed Eli’s birth forward,” Mathew said.

“On the day he was born the tumour was biopsied and the results came back that it was cancerous. Two days later Eli started to receive chemotherapy.

“It was three to four weeks before we got to hold Eli, which was so hard. We were just sitting by his bed watching him.

“The first round of chemotherapy was really successful, and the tumour shrunk by half, but after that it started to grow again. We changed dosages and different types of chemo and again it shrunk, but then it got bigger. At its largest the tumour was the size of a softball.

“At age one, Eli went into palliative care and we thought all hopes were lost.

“Maria Kirby, our oncology doctor at the Women’s and Children’s Hospital, engaged with an America drug trial and a new DNA-targeted cancer drug. We managed to get on that trial and with every scan the tumour kept shrinking and shrinking until it was small enough to be removed.

“The first year and a half of Eli’s life was tough on Kodie and I, we struggled but we got through it. We only had one target in sight and that was to make the right choice for Eli.”

Eli and his Dad in the Women's and Children's Hospital and more recently

Eli and his Dad in the Women’s and Children’s Hospital and more recently on a motorcycle, which Eli loves!

Kodie said while Eli was in the Hospital it was a very challenging time.

“Mathew was tremendous throughout, he was so very supportive and also maintained full-time work to support our family,” she said.

“He is such a great Dad to Eli – probably because he still is a kid himself! They have such a special bond with one another and love playing games together.”

When asked the words Kodie uses to describe Mathew she replies, “loving, caring, selfless and reliable”.

On Father’s Day Eli, Mathew and Kodie will be in Victor Harbor, enjoying the animals at the wildlife sanctuary and the SteamRanger train.

Nominate your Super Dad and share his story here to win him a Charlesworth Nuts gift basket.

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