A Brave Shave – Matt’s story

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“One enchanted evening in spring 2008, I took a nap and woke up surrounded by paramedics. It’s been an interesting ride ever since with brain surgery that May, a recurrence in 2013, a second brain surgery (after which I suffered a stroke), and then 30 rounds of radiation in 2014. That’s when YACC found me.

Since 2014, I have gone to YACC events like Retreat Yourself and the Survivor Conference and appeared as a guest on the Big Cancer Hook-up! Additionally — and importantly — I’ve also been engaged with YACC’s powerful online community. I can’t express how meaningful YACC has been in my life. It’s a second, oversized family.” – Matt Ralph

In 2019, Matt decided to take his love for Young Adult Cancer Canada (YACC) to a new level and become a YACCtivist. YACCtivists, as the name suggests, are people passionate about sharing YACC’s message of community and hope. Shortly after taking on this new role, Matt received news he hoped to never hear again. His cancer has returned for a third time.

Matt will be starting treatment in the coming weeks. As challenging as this must be for Matt, he couldn’t let an opportunity to help others pass him by.

On Saturday, February 22, Matt hosted his very own Shave for the Brave at Fogtown Barber & Shop, shaving his head to raise money for YACC, the second family he dearly loves. So far, Matt’s efforts have raised more than $2,400 with no signs of slowing down. The money from Matt’s Shave will help send another young adult to YACC’s Survivor Conference this spring. It will ensure that a person living with, through, and beyond cancer can experience the life-altering community that Matt has experienced firsthand. In the same way that all of our past Shavers have helped Matt Ralph, Matt’s Shave will help an isolated young adult with cancer feel less alone. That’s the power of the Shave.
It isn’t too late to donate to Matt’s Shave and help people just like him. If you would like to change lives, like Matt’s, click here to donate.

If you would like to register to Shave for the Brave, click here and register today!

On behalf of young adults with cancer, Matt said, “Our stories, our problems, and our issues are unique, and they deserve to be heard.”

We couldn’t agree more. Share Matt’s story and help young adult cancer survivors across Canada connect to YACC and have a second family, too.


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