A place of hope: How a waiting room sparked a meaningful friendship

Bill and Matt Moran

Matt Moran had his own personal motto: help people find the courage to be grateful, regardless of how powerful the storm.

Matt not only preached it; he lived it. As Matt navigated his battle with kidney cancer, he always remained grateful and optimistic, never complaining about the storm he was in. Matt even created his own blog and podcast while he was in treatment to inspire others and shed light on his own personal experience.

During Matt’s treatment, there was one day that stood out for him and his brother, Bill. Bill had come to treatment with Matt that day, as he was having trouble walking due to a recent surgery, and Bill was there to offer a helping hand. As they were waiting to see Matt’s care team, they noticed a young man wearing a Boston College T-shirt sitting by himself. Being the friendly man he was, Matt approached the stranger, not knowing that a beautiful friendship would soon bloom.

“Matt was always making friends no matter where he was,” Bill says. “I had gone to the bathroom and when I came back, Matt was chatting with this stranger. While the interaction wasn’t surprising to me, we had no idea how important it would become to all three of us.”

It was then they both met Bryce, a student-athlete at Boston College who was receiving a routine scan at Dana-Farber that day. As it turned out, Matt and Bryce had several mutual connections, so they exchanged phone numbers. Shortly after, the two of them became good friends.

“Despite Matt and Bryce going through their own personal journeys with cancer diagnoses, their friendship focused on selflessness, respect, and honor,” Bill recalls. “Neither of them saw their cancer diagnosis as a setback, but rather as an opportunity to become better.”

Sadly, Matt passed away in August 2023 at 54 years old, just a few months after meeting Bryce. Today, Bill, Bryce, and Michael, one of Matt’s closest friends since childhood, remain close and determined to keep Matt’s legacy of grace and selflessness alive. They have come together to continue Matt’s podcast, even featuring Bryce as a recent guest to tell their story on a more personal level and share the impact Matt made on him in the short time they knew each other.

“The waiting room at Dana-Farber will forever hold a special place in my heart because it’s where I met Matt,” Bryce says. “I consider myself lucky to have called Matt a friend and an inspiration.”

Bryce, a Boston College student who became friends with Matt after meeting at Dana-Farber

Michael and Bill remain dedicated to finding other ways to give back, just as Matt would have. They recently created a Giving Page—a personalized fundraising page—to support cancer care and research at Dana-Farber.

“Matt always had a way of inspiring those around him to be better versions of themselves and find something to be grateful for,” Michael says. “We’re grateful for his amazing care team at Dana-Farber, and giving back to them is the least we could do to honor Matt.”

Join supporters like Bill and Michael by joining The Dana-Farber Campaign, our ambitious, multi-year fundraising effort to prevent, treat, and defy cancer. The Dana-Farber Campaign will accelerate the Institute’s strategic priorities by supporting revolutionary science, extraordinary care, and exceptional expertise. As a community, we have the power to create a more hopeful, cancer-free future—in Boston and around the world. Together, we can defy cancer at every turn. Learn more about The Dana-Farber Campaign and how you can get involved at DefyCancer.org.