Matty Sherdahl is fighting for his life to "Kick Jack Sass to the curb”. (Sherdahl photo)

Youngster battles brain cancer

Margaret Houben

Special to Clearwater Times

If you’ve ever visited Jim’s Food Market in Little Fort, you’ve likely met the manager, David Madsen. Lately, if he’s seemed a little distracted, it’s because he’s worried about his grandson, Matty, who has recently been diagnosed with germinoma brain cancer.

At the store, there is a donation can with Matty’s picture and the saying “Kicking Jack Sass to the Curb” on it. The slogan was chosen after Matty, 12, told his parents he had named his tumour Jack Sass “and he was going to kick it!” his mother Tamara Sherdahl said.

Sherdahl said Matty was diagnosed a few days after he and his sister were exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID. She stayed home with them while they self-isolated and self-monitored and noticed Matty was sleeping all the time and having a hard time staying awake.

“I took him for another COVID test and it came back negative. The morning before I had to go back to work he couldn’t stay awake for more than 15 minutes. So I took him to emergency. They did blood work and an ECG. Everything came back normal and I was told to do a check-up with our family doctor. “

When they returned home, Matty got out of the vehicle and started walking sideways, and then passed out face-first onto the road. They returned to emergency in an ambulance and Sherdahl asked them to check his eyes because “since the spring his eyes looked a little funny to me.”

The next morning, Matty had an MRI and that afternoon he was diagnosed with brain cancer. They were transported to BC Children’s Hospital.

Matty’s illness has caused many changes in the Sherdahl’s family life. His mom notes Matty’s 13th birthday is Dec. 8, and that Christmas will be spent at BC Children’s Hospital.

A fundraiser for the family will be held at Jim’s Food Market in Little Fort that day. Every cup of coffee, hot chocolate, or cappuccino sold that day will be donated to Matty’s family. Or drop into Jim’s Food Markets in Little Fort anytime to throw some coins into the can for Matty.

Sherdahl adds there is no anticipated date when Matty may be able to go home, and that on top of the germinoma cancer and low-pressure hydrocephalus, he has a long road of physical therapy ahead of him.

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