"Miracle" Cancer Survivor Offers Hope To Others

2:51 PM, Dec 8, 2012   |    comments
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KENMORE, N.Y. - There are not many people that can do what Steve Matthews can, and that's to offer hope to people who have none.

18 years ago Steve of Kenmore, began suffering severe headaches and his personality began to change.

Doctors gave he and his wife Michelle a devastating diagnosis- he had an aggressive form of brain cancer.

Steve Mathews: "The phone rang they told me I had a tumor, couldn't believe it."

Michelle Mathews: "Disbelief, terror, a cold, just terrorized, our children were two and four. It was scary but we went the very next day to Dent and met Dr. Metchler and his team."

Dr. Laslo Mechtler, Dent Institute: "That tumor when untreated the survival is about 10 weeks, even with treatment back then the survival is about one year."

Steve went through an aggressive treatment of surgery, radiation and chemotherapy, which kept him alive for three years.

Then he took a turn for the worse, fell into a coma and was transferred to hospice.

Scott Brown: "How far along were you in terms of Steve's passing?"

Michelle Mathews: "Oh, I don't even know if he knows, my sister wrote his eulogy. The nurses told me very sincerely that this would be the time to go for arrangements, final arrangements, which I did."

Dr. Mechtler, who had been traveling in Europe, went to hospice and asked Michelle for permission to try and treat Steve but she told him no.

Dr. Laslo Mechtler: "We had a vocal argument in the middle of the hospital. I as a physician looking at it from a medical perspective to bring my patient back and Michelle who had a comfort level with what was going on and that he had suffered enough."

Finally, Michelle relented and Dr. Mechtler, who thought that perhaps Steve was suffering from a massive infection of his brain brought on by his weakened immune system, gave Steve antibiotics and steroids. That turned the tide.

And ever since, Steve Mathews has been cancer free.

Scott Brown: "Is it too much to say that Steve's case is a medical miracle?"

Dr. Laslo Mechtler: "Statistically it's a medical miracle, statistically speaking."

Steve now speaks to support groups for families who are battling brain cancer.

Steve Mathews: "I just offer myself, whatever you want to talk about with me I'll talk about."

Scott Brown: "Do you think you offer them some hope?"

Steve Mathews: "Absolutely, absolutely."

On Saturday, Dr. Mechtler will be holding a brain tumor awareness event for current and former patients of his with proceeds going to a neuro-oncology fund for patients who need assistance.

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