Matthew Zachary was a 21-year old college senior and concert pianist en route to film school when he lost use of his left hand. He was diagnosed with pediatric brain cancer, told he’d likely never perform again and given a 50/50 chance of surviving. Sixteen years later, Matthew’s survivorship and dedication to “get busy living” has inspired countless thousands. Today, he is an award-winning recording artist and accredited thought-leader in digital health, social media, youth culture and nonprofit enterprise.
A founding member of the original Google Health Advisory Council, he launched Stupid Cancer in 2007. The organization formed to be a social bullhorn to raise awareness of his own generation of young adults, a largely unknown group in the war on cancer, accounting for 72,000 new diagnosis each year. This age group also represents a population that has not seen any improvements in survival rates and quality of life when compared to other age groups.
As CEO of Stupid Cancer, Matthew has built an extraordinary team of staff members and volunteers who have helped launch a social movement, uniting several industries to address the underserved needs of young adults affected by cancer. He has also flipped the nonprofit business model on its ear by focusing on innovation, enterprise strategies, community wealth and brand partnerships. These efforts empower and retain the organization’s massive following through award-winning click-and-mortar programs and services.
Matthew has a BA in Music, Computer Science and Sociology from Binghamton University and currently lives with his wife and twins in Brooklyn, NY.