PORTLAND - Matt Fettig was forced to put the fun of his OSU fraternity days on hold when he learned in August he has leukemia.
"One day I was a healthy 20-year-old kid living life and then I hear this news."
He had a persistent cough and some chest pain but didn’t expect the frightening diagnosis of acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
"I tell Matt it's going to be a struggle - it's going to be hard and we're going to intensify you're treatment," explained Randall Children’s Dr. Janice Olsen. It’s an aggressive cancer requiring chemotherapy and radiation.
“How do you come to terms with your brother having cancer? It's almost impossible," said Matt’s younger brother Blair.
Matt is the middle brother to Blair and older brother Eric. They are brothers by birth and brothers in the Phi Delta Theta fraternity at Oregon state University.
"I think you guys are doing a really good job raising awareness and just spreading the word," Matt told his brothers during a recent visit.
With “Fight for Matt” T-shirts and wristbands the entire fraternity is educating other students on campus about leukemia and what they can do about it.
"I went and gave some speeches to fraternities and sororities. They were bad speeches because I was nervous, standing in front of 60 girls is not easy," remembered Blair.
The wristbands and T-shirts sold out so the brothers will be ordering more. They’ve also taken the “Fight for Matt” to Facebook and Twitter.
"I went on Facebook and there were so many photos. Everything was about fight for Matt. I felt like a celebrity," the patient said with a smile.
Matt wants the take away message to be about bone marrow transplants. He’ll be having one with his older brother as the donor.
“He's a perfect match for me so that's pretty lucky." Matt expects to get the transplant during his brother Eric’s winter break from OSU.
“I think everybody has the opportunity to have a not so good outcome and everybody has the opportunity to have a great otucome and that's what I'm shooting for," remarked Dr. Olsen.
“It's kind of therapeutic to know there's people rooting for you. It means a lot to me and I hope my brothers know that," concluded Matt before heading off to his next radiation treatment.
How you can be tested to be a bone marrow donor link - Marrow.org