Posted - November 2010 in Community Members
Matthew’s life is hinged around music. He grew up in Epping in Sydney doing lots of creative things such as music and woodwork, and also sports – he was the fastest runner at school and also played soccer. He was in the school band and travelled with them to play concerts… foreshadowing things to come later in life.
Since leaving school, Matthew has always worked in the music industry. He has been on tour with rock bands and travelled the world – often to the US, Hawaii, and also to Fiji, England, Germany and Poland, as well as a stint in Canada on a working visa. He has also toured extensively in Australia.
As well as being a piano player/keyboardist, Matthew has other skills related to music. He learned his trade as a piano tuner and has been approved by the New South Wales Conservatorium in that role. He is a successful composer, having won competitions. He has his own studio and has recorded his own albums. He has worked in a technical role in corporate audiovisual productions, at the Opera House and also on shows headlined by the Rolling Stones, Cindy Lauper and Powderfinger.
Limitations due to HSP have curtailed Matthew’s role on the technical production side and so he started his own business six years ago repairing vintage keyboard instruments from the 70s and 80s. (http://www.sydneykeyboards.com.au/)
Live rock is Matthew’s passion, but he also has an interest in jazz. He says “music is therapy”.
Now 38, Matthew started to show symptoms 4 years ago. He has been typed with SPG4 and signed up to donate tissue for the stem cell pilot study. He describes himself as not being too badly affected and is trying to manage the best he can doing intensive physio and exercise. He takes oral Baclofen for spasticity, not wanting the pump or Botox. He says that dietary supplementation with zinc and vitamin B6 help and would like to see an HSP cookbook as he thinks that the right diet can really help the condition.
Matthew describes himself as social and enjoys going out with his girlfriend and friends. On reflection, he feels like his life so far has been successful and fulfilling and he hopes it continues that way.