Meet Matteo Lambert, a remarkable nine-year-old boy who embarked on an extraordinary journey to raise funds for kids battling cancer. Matteo’s passion for running ignited when he participated in his first 5k race at the age of seven, dedicated to raising awareness for prostate cancer. While he finished second in his age group, his motivation went far beyond winning medals.
Matteo’s father, Brandon Lambert, shared a heartwarming moment with him during the race. After suggesting that Matteo stay to collect his well-deserved medal, Matteo selflessly responded, “It’s okay, Daddy. We can leave. This isn’t about awards. It’s about helping other people.” Touched by his son’s compassion, Brandon connected Matteo with Len Forkas, the founder of Hopecam, a charity supporting children undergoing cancer treatment by keeping them connected with friends and school through online video.
In early 2019, Matteo initially set a goal to run 100 kilometers. However, realizing he would achieve that goal early, he ambitiously increased his target to 100 miles. Alongside the mileage goal, Matteo and his family aimed to raise $5,000. To their surprise, the community’s response was overwhelming, and they quickly surpassed their fundraising goal, with most donations pouring in from kind strangers on Facebook.
Matteo’s incredible determination led him to run 120 miles, spanning 15 states and even crossing into Canada, while raising an astounding $65,000 in 2019. Along the way, he received recognition for his admirable efforts, including a congratulatory letter from US President Joe Biden. Matteo also had the opportunity to meet Anthony Rizzo, the first baseman for the Chicago Cubs, during a race in Chicago. The duo captured a memorable photo together, and Rizzo later hit a grand slam, dedicating it to Matteo.
Driven by his compassionate spirit, Matteo and his family established the Off the Charts Club, in collaboration with the CORE Foundation. Their mission is to continue participating in races, fundraising, and visiting children in hospitals across the country. The Off the Charts Club seeks to alleviate the stress of medical charts and bring joy to the lives of sick children. The CORE Foundation supports pediatric cancer patients by providing books, personalized capes, and other inspirational items. They also offer emotional support to chronically ill children, raise funds for technology and literary resources, and create opportunities for youth to develop leadership skills and engage in community service.
As part of the club’s initiatives, Matteo and his family aspire to publish a children’s book, visit hospitals for readings, and distribute copies to patients. Additionally, they aim to promote athletic events that empower kids to embrace their childhood. Matteo’s father, Brandon, expressed his pride in his son, stating, “He’s kind of the adult in the house. He’s been a very easy child to parent. Matteo has just always wanted to help people who are less fortunate.”
Matteo Lambert is an inspiration to us all, exemplifying the power of compassion and selflessness at a young age. His unwavering dedication continues to impact the lives of children fighting cancer, providing hope, and encouraging them to find joy amidst challenging circumstances.