Unite for Fyds!

Beer can’t cure cancer, but it can bring people together to fight it. We’re throwing a massive fundraiser for our mate Fyds via an online auction with some once in a lifetime items you can bid for. Some of the items available include Jersey worn by 3X World Champion Surfer Mick Fanning at the 2015 Pipeline Masters, the uniform worn in the 2021 Wimbledon Championships by professional tennis player Ash Barty, luxury getaways and much more.

 

We’re calling on our community to unite for Fyds and help him tackle this illness head-on.

We’re also throwing a ‘Unite for Fyds’ fundraising event on Friday, September 24th at the Balter Taproom. A $150 ticket will be directly donated towards Fyd’s specialised treatment and will get you a night of great food, open taps, and entry into our raffle draw with some very exciting prizes. So if you have the means, please come to get involved and raise a glass with us.

 

Here’s Matt’s story…

Matt Fydler — known fondly to his mates as 'Fyds' — is a 44-year-old Lindisfarne high school teacher, adoring husband to wife Amy and loving father to two young children, Kai and Millie. Having grown up in Northern NSW, Fyds is a community man at heart and a very close friend to many of us at Balter.

In November of 2020, Fyds was swinging on the monkey bars playing with his two children when he noticed a pain in his bicep. With no history of illness, Fyds didn't think much of the pain but decided to go to the doctors anyway. A few days later, he received a call from his Doctor explaining that "it wasn't looking good."

The ultrasound had shown a tumour in the top part of his bicep muscle. The news of cancer devastated the young family as they came to terms with the diagnosis. Only three days later, the specialist team rung explaining that the lump in Fyd's bicep was actually just a Hematoma, 'a solid swelling of clotted blood within the tissues' and that it should be gone within six weeks.

"I was on top of the moon because I thought I was cancer-free," says Fyds. "Over the next six weeks, the lump blew up to the size of a tennis ball. I knew something was very wrong, so I went back and asked them to look at it again." The second biopsy confirmed a misdiagnosis and confirmed that the lump was a rare form of cancer called rhabdomyosarcoma. Only 400 to 500 people are diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma each year globally, most of whom are children or teens.

After the diagnosis, Fyds went straight into surgery to remove his bicep. However, over the six weeks of misdiagnosis, cancer had spread to his lungs. Straight after surgery recovery, Fyds went straight into a chemo regime, which he describes as "absolutely horrific". The first chemotherapy treatment was rigorous, "I spent six days in the hospital bed not being able to move or eat, I then went home for two days to recover and then back in for another six days. This repeated for eight weeks'', says Fyds.

Unfortunately, doctors discovered that the chemo hadn't done what it needed to do, and the cancer had grown. The Oncologist recommended a new treatment that was a different drug altogether. Fyds learnt after enduring another eight weeks of gruesome chemo that the tumours had continued to grow and spread. After misdiagnosis, radiation therapy, surgery and two rounds of harrowing chemotherapy, Fyds was told to go home and get his affairs in order.

Refusing to lose hope, Fyds and his wife Amy have found a Sarcoma specialist in Germany that offers advanced treatment. "The stats are against me, but I'm not going to believe in them. I need to live for my wife, for my kids and my family. I'm not ready to go yet." Matt's story serves as a reminder of the fragility of life, and the support he has received from his family, friends, and community is a testament to how much he is loved. Balter is getting behind a mate and asking our community to unite for Fyds to get the treatment he needs to survive. Money raised for Fyds will cover flights, medical bills, and six months of living expenses for him and his family while he undergoes treatment.

 

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