Community rallies around local man with cancer

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matthew strong_270408

SOMERSET, Mass. (WPRI) — Within a matter of minutes of meeting Matthew Pierce, it is clear that he is filled with both positive energy and determination to beat cancer.

At the Marine Corps League Headquarters in Somerset Saturday, donors turned out to support Pierce.

Pierce, who comes from a military family and said he always wanted to be a Marine, has already gone through a tough battle – including a round of chemotherapy and surgery to remove a lump on the back of his head.

“The Marines are always ‘adapt, improvise and overcome,'” Pierce told Eyewitness News. “With cancer, you have to really think on your feet because it’s so unpredictable and things can happen so fast. You need to be able to know how to change pace and keep up with it so you don’t get bogged down with everything.”

When the head of the league heard about Pierce’s diagnosis, he volunteered, not only to host a blood drive in his honor, but also make him an honorary member – making him only the third in the league’s history.

“He’s got a great outlook on life and what life has dealt him, he’s handling it very well,” said Bruce Aldrich, Commandant of the Marine Corps League.

Pierce’s family said they admire his courage in the face of such adversity.

“I admire him in a lot of ways and occasionally, I wonder myself could I even measure up to how he has handled all of this,” questioned Steven Pierce, Matt’s dad.

Pierce is scheduled to start another round of chemo next week and then will have a scan to monitor any tumor growth.

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