Web Extra: Student becomes the teacher

November 3, 2014 -  By

On March 7, 2013, our son Matt — then a freshman in college with aspirations of following in my footsteps and becoming an accountant — was diagnosed with stage 4 Hodgkin lymphoma.

As parents, we try to teach our children to do the right thing, solve problems and succeed in life. In this case, our “student” became our teacher overnight.

At every turn in his now 19-month battle with cancer, Matt has been truly inspirational. His unwavering can-do attitude, sense of humor and strong acumen for moving forward serves as a shining example for our entire family, his friends and classmates and countless others.

When doctors advised Matt to withdraw from college, he refused, saying he’d worked too hard. Matt was determined to do whatever schoolwork he could from home and travel from our home in New Jersey to Virginia for as many classes as he could in between his many rounds of chemotherapy. Matt not only stayed in school, he made the dean’s list.

After completing his rigorous chemo regiment, Matt’s tests read negative. While he’ll never be completely out of the woods, and he’ll need to return for regular checkups, this is an enormous blessing.

Matt teaches all of us every day that it’s not so much about what happens to us in life, as it is how we handle it.

Gordon recently partnered with LM sister publication Pest Management Professional to publish a how-to guide, “From Technician to CEO.” He’s donating 25 percent of net proceeds from the book to The Valerie Fund, supporting comprehensive health care services for children with cancer and blood disorders. Additionally, North Coast Media, parent company of LM, is donating a portion of our October revenue to cancer research.

About the Author:

Gordon is a New Jersey-based CPA and owner of Turfbooks, an accounting firm that caters to land care professionals throughout the U.S. Reach him at dan@turfbooks.com.

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