MONTREAL – For Laval’s Matthew Schreindorfer, it looked as though 2015 would end on a high note.
In August 2014, just two months after getting married to his high school sweetheart, Schreindorfer was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
After treatment failed in Quebec, he took part in a costly experimental treatment in New York while his wife, Katia Luciani, turned to the generosity of strangers to save the love of her life.
The expensive gene therapy was funded by an online campaign organised by Luciani that raised over $800,000.
He then underwent a successful bone marrow transplant and in October of 2015, was given a clean bill of health.
WATCH BELOW: Global’s Jessica Brown catches up with Matthew Schreindorfer and wife Katia Luciani to talk about what it feels like to be cancer-free after a year of devastation.
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The couple was slowly starting to enjoy a return to normal life, looking forward to spending the Christmas holidays together. However, a routine 6-month post transplant bone marrow biopsy on Dec. 9, 2015, changed all that.
In a Facbook post, Schreindorfer said “I feared the worst, and sadly the worst was confirmed.”
Doctors announced the cancer was back.
Schriendorfer spent the greater part of the holidays in hospital, mostly in isolation. The hope is that he will qualify for CAR-T cell immunotherapy treatment at the government-run National Institute of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland.
Sadly, the treatment is still not available locally, but Schreindorfer and Lucaini have been working tirelessly to change that.
READ MORE: Matthew Schreindorfer lobbies for better cancer treatment in Quebec
In collaboration with the McGill Super Hospital, the Cedars Cancer Foundation and Dr. Laneuville the couple have been planning a gala event. The proceeds from the soirée will be donated to Dr. Laneuville and his team and used towards the development of immunotherapy treatments in Montreal.
For more information on how you can help, visit the Cedars Cancer Foundation website.
WATCH BELOW: Matthew Schreindorfer’s journey