“From Cancer to Coma” has become the catchphrase every time Matt Ode shares his story and survival of Cancer. At the age of 24, Matt was diagnosed with Stage 3C Testicular Cancer, followed by intense chemotherapy and complicated 11-hour surgery to remove the remnant of the tumor and cancer from his body.
Unexpectedly, the surgical procedure hit a brick wall of complications. What followed was multiple surgeries to remove 7 liters of fluid out of Matt’s stomach, causing his kidneys and liver to shut down forcing him into a 2-week non-induced coma. During this time, Matt’s doctors weren’t sure when he would awake, while his family and girlfriend were informed that he would likely be on dialysis for the rest of his life.
One week out of the coma, another major complication hit. Matt went into cardiac arrest where nurses had to perform eight minutes of CPR to bring him back to life. After an additional 1-week coma, Matt had to relearn to walk and live his entire life again. Just as Matt began making progress, another setback happened where he was rushed in for a 5th major surgery that developed a football-size open wound on his stomach. After 40 days under watch and care in the ICU and an additional 53 days at Cleveland Clinic, Matt was finally released from the hospital and on his road to recovery.
Before the diagnosis and the subsequent treatment, Matt Ode was a personal trainer weighing in at 185 lb, but during his battle with cancer, within eight months, he dwindled down to a mere 110 lbs.
Through many years of recovery, Matt is now healthy and back to his original weight, while committed to helping others find their own path and purpose throughout their road to recovery. To help him do so, Matt created a Cancer Facebook Group back in October of 2020 dedicated to helping cancer patients, survivors, and caregivers . The group is growing fast and gaining prominence with 2k members already. According to Matt, “This group is unique because it is not just a support group. As a mentor, I am helping individuals overcome the mental, emotional, and physical aspects of cancer so they can use their journey and experiences to discover their path and purpose in life after cancer while helping others along the way.”
As a keynote motivational speaker, Matt continues to tell his story of resilience and perseverance to take any audience on an emotional rollercoaster while at the same time helping them overcome their current setbacks and use their experiences as a point of growth. As a mentor, he is a guide for those struggling mentally, emotionally, and physically; and he wants to show the world real tangible results that he has created over time.
Matt has overcome so much in his life, from cancer to coma, kidney and liver failure, cardiac arrest, five surgeries, and so much more. “Now I feel I have been given a second chance in life to give back to the world by showing them that your setbacks no longer define you. Instead, they help you grow into the best version of yourself. ”
Last year, Matt had to shelve his plans to organize and host a cancer charity race due to the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown. And according to him, this year he plans to collaborate with Herme’s Race events to make the race a reality. All proceeds of the race will go to Ulman Cancer Foundation, for young adults battling cancer.
In five years’ time, Matt sees himself building retreats while collaborating with top industries, organizations, and celebrities to help individuals through life’s most difficult challenges with a preface on mental health and showing them what is possible in life. “For speaking, I see myself on massive stages in the corporate and non-profit industries, sharing my story and lessons I have learned to overcome adversity and use it to help others break the mold and ﬁnd what they love in life while making a huge contribution to society,” he concludes.
To learn more about Matt, visit his website.