Matt says…I would like to send a very warm and sincere thanks to the Balmy Beach Rugby Football Club in Toronto for hosting a enjoyable and supportive fundraiser at their beautiful beach-side clubhouse. The event was full of friendly and familiar faces of all ages with plenty of kind words and offers of support. Jim Drohan, who MC’d the event as an add-on to the junior awards ceremony, was extremely generous with his kind comments of support. Over the past number of years, Jim has been the cornerstone of a blossoming beach mini-rugby program that continues to foster growth and community engagement. It’s this sense of community, where rugby feels like a way of life rather than just a sport, that has brought me such a strong source of support over the last few months.

The silent auction and cash donations from the event are covering the cost of a week-long intensive chronic pain course with a routine six-month follow-up correspondence. Additionally, I’ve been introduced to other EDS-sufferers and communities through this fundraiser that are able to provide support that reaches beyond financial backing to help me re-establish a self-sustainable lifestyle over the long term.

Kyle Nichols, a Team Canada legend and rugby mentor of mine since I was 18, was instrumental in organizing this supportive event along with the Balmy Beach Alumni. Moreover, he and his wife, Jamie Leverton, were kind enough to host me at their house while I was in Toronto and helped me get around the city to attend my appointments with genetic and chronic pain specialists. I enjoyed my time with their 7- and 4-year old daughters, Ainsley and Isla, who brought much-needed sunshine into my life. The girls showed me how to play “restaurant” and introduced me to the ‘Lego Movie’ and some great tv shows like ‘Sophia the First’ and ‘Barbie Life in the Dreamhouse’. Many thanks to the Nichols-Leverton family and the Balmy Beach community for this great event and many years of warm support.

The Balmy Beach Men’s teams are in good form as they prepare for the playoffs. Best wishes to all three men’s divisions in this year’s quest for their respective cups! Up the Beach!

Matt King