April 30, 2019
Matteo is third-grader living in Vienna, VA, and he’s a perfect example of the phrase “small but mighty.” Not just because he’s an eight-year old who’s running twenty 5k races in 10 different states, or because he can hurtle his 8-year-old body through one of those 5k’s in less than 25 minutes. (But that too.) It’s why Matteo runs that really shows his strength.
Last year he met with his neighbor and personal hero, Len Forkas. Len is a world-class athlete who runs a Virginia-based non-profit called Hopecam, whose mission is to help kids with cancer overcome an often overlooked effect of cancer: isolation. Hopecam provides video technology to children with serious illnesses so they can stay connected with their friends, classmates, and support systems during a time when they most need encouragement.
It’s a mission that Matteo took to heart—and then to the pavement. With a little help from his dad, he started the fundraiser Matteo Runs. He’ll be running twenty 5k races in 10 states for Hopecam, and he hopes to raise $50,000 throughout his 100km journey. We know those are some pretty big numbers for a pretty little kid, but Matteo said it best himself, “Nothing in life is done without a vision.”
After having the pleasure of photographing Matteo’s portraits, you can take our word for it when we say it’s easy to believe in his commitment to helping others. Or you can see it for yourself! Matteo will be back in Reston, VA, for a race in May, and you can check out his full schedule HERE.
His story is an inspiring reminder that compassion and making a difference is an ageless, sizeless, timeless endeavor. And while Matteo might be the one doing the footwork, as he says, it’s up to all of us to help the real heroes: the children who are struggling to overcome cancer. If you’d like to give Matteo a leg-up on his mission, we encourage you to check out his donation page HERE.