Sep 23, 2020
Dustin Plantholt’s “Life’s Tough—You Can Be Tougher” podcast this week features Matthew Zachary, cancer survivor, driven patient advocate and inspirational podcaster, and Co-Founder & CEO of OffScrip Media—the first audio broadcast network focused on consumer health and patient advocacy.
In 1995, at age 21—a college senior with aspirations of becoming a concert pianist and composer—Matthew was diagnosed with brain cancer and told he likely had less than six months to live. Instantly, Matthew and his family were thrust into unfamiliar and terrifying territory and a cancer landscape much different than today. At the time, cancer resources for young adults were very few and far between, and 'surviving' meant living beyond five years. Although Matthew and his family were offered comfort through a small, fragmented community, they were not able to benefit from many of today's survivorship resources. Like millions of other families, they had to do things on their own, navigate uncharted waters, make best-guess decisions and hope for the best.
To help and support other families going through similar situations, in 2007 Matthew founded Stupid Cancer, a progressive social enterprise that linked his worlds of music, cancer advocacy, consumer health marketing, and technology to ensure that people like him and his family would have the opportunity to benefit from community and support resources they only wished they had in 1995. Since its founding, Stupid Cancer has become the leader in the young adult cancer space, breaking all the rules and giving a voice to millions. The podcast that Matthew started, The Stupid Cancer Show, was the world's first health podcast and amassed a global listenership in the millions. Matthew was featured on the cover of Newsweek along with coverage in the NY Times and CBS Evening News. Due in large part to his work, the landscape for Adolescent Young Adult cancer has changed dramatically.
In 2019, Matthew stepped down as Stupid Cancer's CEO and launched his latest venture, OffScrip Media, the first podcasting network at the intersection of patient advocacy, education, and digital health with a mission to build community, end isolation, amplify voice, and improve quality of life for patients and caregivers. OffScrip Media produces raw, unapologetic, no-BS content that talks about real problems real people have who struggle every day to endure their lives with dignity. His current podcast, Out of Patients, is being hailed as "the voice of patient advocacy." Next month, they will launch #BCSM, a three-part narrative podcast mini-series about the birth of the Breast Cancer Social Media Community and its impact as a global network of patients, caregivers, clinicians, and researchers dedicated to empowering those affected by breast cancer.
Join Dustin and Matt for a heartfelt dialogue on his extraordinary journey and how through his own health struggles is on a mission to help others cope and be heard in their unique health journeys. As Matt says, “Join me on this new adventure as I continue to galvanize the patient voice, blow up the status quo, and make big dents in the universe. After all, we are all very fortunate to not have ordinary lives.”