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Matthew Foster was diagnosed with childhood cancer in his sophomore year at Iroquois High School. He battled the cancer for 25 months but lost the battle on January 29, 1999 at the age of 17. The following month his family established the foundation in his memory.

In 2024 we are celebrating our 25th Anniversary

During the battle Matthew and his parents spent over 50% of their time at either Roswell Park Cancer Comprehensive Cancer Center or Oishei Children’s Hospital. They learned many things including that when you are informed that your child has cancer is changes every day of your life. While going through the treatments for cancer the mom and dad got to know parents, and single moms, with children going through the same battle. Those families battle with childhood cancer added a tremendous amount of grief and many differences to their lives including financial distress. The Fosters decided that the mission for the foundation in memory of their son would help in relieving some of the financial distress. They wanted to put a ray of hope in those families lives and know that people care.

The Matthew Foster Foundation’s mission is to assist Western New York families of children with cancer. Since we began in 1999 we have raised over $1,700,000 and have had the priviledge of assisting over 750 of WNY families.

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Honoring Matthew Foster

The Matthew Foster Foundation is proud to honor Matthew and keep his memory alive. We do this by helping families that are battling the same dreadful childhood cancer that took his life way too soon. Matthew lost his battle with that terrible cancer at the age of 17 in 1999.

The foundation was established that same year and since then has provided assistance to over 725 families battling childhood cancer. The assistance is to help the family unit financially as they go through this horrific battle. Some family members lose a lot of time at work while they care for their child. The types of assistance include paying utility bills, rent and mortgage payments, fixing cars, gift cards for food or gas, helping to buy a car, co-payments, medical bills, and the list goes on and on. When a child loses their battle with cancer we assist with the funeral expenses. In an average year assistance is provided to 35-40 families, including 5-6 with funeral expenses.

The Matthew Foster Foundation is proud to carry-on Matthew’s memory and put a ray of hope, and possible smile, in the lives of these special families, and let them know that someone cares about them.