Tuesday, 1 February 2011

A remarkable coxswain

This could be the scene at any rowing club. A crew of giants carries the boat off the pontoon, accompanied by a featherweight cox. But this cox is extraordinary.
He is 14 year old Matthew Erlandson from Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey. He is just 4ft 9in tall and weighs in at 60 pounds, the result of neuroblastoma, a particularly agressive type of cancer that affects only children - Matthew was diagnosed when he was just 16 months old. He has been in remission for 11 years now, but the effect on his physical growth is permanent.
When his elder brother Kyle, now 17, joined Egg Harbor Township High School’s rowing squad, Matthew wanted to join too - and found he has a great talent as a cox. He steers, sets tactics and motivates the crew.
Every year, both Matthew and Kyle shave their heads at their local St. Baldrick’s Foundation fundraising event.
This year Matt will continue to guide Egg Harbor Township’s team to victory and Kyle has earned a full tuition scholarship for Men's Crew at Northeastern University in Boston.
More about neuroblastoma at the Neuroblastoma Society.

1 comment:

Baydog said...

Matt is inspiring and Kyle is impressive. Go Egg Harbor!