Cancer and stroke survivor on milestone birthday: ‘It makes me feel good that my story brings people hope’

A young man who survived cancer and a stroke opened up about reaching a milestone


For Matthew Walker, seeing his 18th birthday wasn’t promised.

"I have had cancer four times. I had a stroke," he said. "Apparently, it could've killed me, but it didn't."

The right side of his body was affected by the stroke, and he wasn’t responsive for three days afterward.

Matthew’s father, Dion Walker, Sr., revealed, "He thought he had died and he was just listening to us talk about him."

Although his doctors didn’t expect him to speak or walk again, Matthew proved them wrong on both counts, though his wheelchair is helpful for longer distances.

When he turned 18, he marveled at all the things he was now legally able to do.

"I can win the lottery," said Matthew. "I can go get a tattoo or a piercing when I feel like it. I can skydive."

Matthew said he hoped others could learn from the way he pushed through in challenging times, adding, "It makes me feel good in knowing that other people can learn from my experience, and just brings people hope."

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