Team DIFO (Do it for Oliver)
Team DIFO (Do it for Oliver) was established in 2010 in memory of Oliver Matthew, who passed away from ALL. The oldest son of Mandy and Ian Matthew, and the brother to Sam and Elliot, Oliver was a bright, head strong young man who knew exactly where he was going in life. Oliver thoroughly enjoyed High School, soccer, and spending time with friends. He was a real planner, down to the job he wanted, the car he was going to buy, the places he would go on vacation and the house he was going to buy. He was popular in school and a leader amongst his friends, and was always there for them as they were for him in his time of need. He got on well with adults, and made friends in every aspect of his life. Oliver was a role model to his friends and his younger brothers. Sadly, in the fall of 2009, as Oliver began his first semester at Sauder School of Business at UBC, he felt tired, experienced headaches and nosebleeds leading up to mid-term exams. On Saturday, October 17, 2009 he went to UBC Hospital before being rushed into Vancouver Hospital having had a bleed in his brain. He was transferred to Vancouver General Hospital, to Neuro ITU for immediate treatment followed by weeks of chemo therapy, At one point a Stem Cell Transplant was considered and one of his brothers was identified as a Stem Cell donor, unfortunately, Oliver never went into remission and wasn't well enough to receive that transplant. Oliver passed away March 13 2010 at Canuck Place, Vancouver. Many many friends and acquaintances came to celebrate his life and offer condolences to his family. Everyone knew what an incredibly brave, courageous, strong young man he was throughout his fight against Leukemia. His family were humbled to see so many people at his memorial for him. To this day, Oliver's friends join our family in remembering him at Light the Night, in addition to participating in an annual soccer tournament put on by his friends to raise funds for a scholarship in his name at his High School.
Light the Night is something everyone who was touched by Oliver looks forward to every year. We start fundraising in September and we open our home to all of our friends and family after the walk to eat and gather and spend time remembering him. We know that each year this is the time that we will remember Oliver and we look forward to it. We all have busy lives, but it's so important for us that we take a moment and have this event together every year. I know it means a lot to Elliot and Sam and that it has helped us all grieve. I always look forward to the kilometer of memories and to seeing Oliver's picture on the sign there. It also meant a lot to me to be the gold lantern representative at Light the Night a few years back, where my son Elliot and I were able to share his memory on stage.