Described as a “peace healer” by the famed Deepak Chopra, Matthew Zachary is considered as one of the most influential thought leaders and patient advocates in healthcare.
In 1995, Matthew was a college senior, concert pianist, and composer. He was on route to grad school to be a film composer and study with Hans Zimmer at USC.
Then, at age 21, he was diagnosed with pediatric brain cancer and told he would likely not survive six months.
Matthew defied doctors and survived, but fell prey to depression and isolation as a young man who had lived through the trauma of cancer with nobody to relate to.
Ten years later, Matthew created the first health podcast and founded Stupid Cancer—the world leader in young adult cancer advocacy, research, and support—and ignited a global movement advocating for dignity in the face of health adversity.
Stupid Cancer filled a gaping hole where Adolescent Young Adult (AYA) cancer programs should have been and became the rallying point and leader in building the AYA cancer community, ending isolation, and “making cancer suck less.”
Mathew stepped down from Stupid Cancer as CEO in 2019 but continues to build communities and galvanize the patient voice.
From January 2020, Matthew has been a strategic advisor to the National Organisation of Rare Disorders NORD where he provides ongoing strategic counsel to NORD leadership. His areas of focus include omnichannel content marketing, business development, industry partnerships, community growth, brand reach, and social impact.
The animated communicator has a humorous and unapologetic approach to discussing his survivorship and raising awareness which he will be bringing to his new venture OffScrip Media — “a new podcast that calls out all sorts of stupid BS in healthcare while serving up stories of advocacy, heroism, and the audacity of health.”
It is the first digital health podcast network focused on patient advocacy, education, and empowerment and will also house NORD’s official podcast which will be released in 2020.
Tags: cancer, cancer research, patient advocacy, rare diseases
“We are all very fortunate to not have ordinary lives, so do not listen to what the world tells you has to be done. The real revolution happens when patients are in charge of their own outcomes.”