Cycling up the Gillies range in FNQ for my father’s birthday

HSP. I wish it meant I had a Halal Snack Pack that I was eating and enjoying. But no, HSP is what I was diagnosed with in 2015. A lot of different people kept on asking me if I was okay because I had a limp when I walked. This was back in 2007. At first for a few years I didn’t notice anything at all. Even got looked at by doctors and a physiotherapist. They didn’t find anything so I kept on living my life. It finally got to the point where I noticed something wasn’t right with my legs.

A 30 min appointment with a fantastic Physio had turned into 2 hours with no idea what I had. Then onto the Neuro specialist for 18months of testing where I got the news. I was diagnosed with (SPG4) Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia.

Me working as a lead chef in Whistler Canada

My name is Matthias. I am 38 years old, currently living and working in Brisbane. I grew up in beautiful Far North Queensland where I loved the outdoors and getting out and about. I love photography, hiking, cycling, camping, water sports, traveling and cooking. I was a chef for about 12 years where I traveled the world and worked hard and made great friends. Now I am currently working as a pool technician in Brisbane. Took a while for me to get used to city life but really enjoying the change here with my girlfriend Kaitlin.

I have found living with HSP challenging as I loved being active and going on adventures. As a kid I made a few representative level teams to compete at state titles. So not being able to play sports as well as I knew I could, really affected me. I suffered a bit in my personal life and would get really angry. It got to a point where I was hating being this grumpy angry person and had to sort myself out. Getting through depression, for me, made me a better person and knew I had to almost reinvent myself, find new things that I could do that would make me happy and not think about my legs too much.

Me just practicing some bubble rings underwater after squad training

HSP scares me. But all I can do is stay positive about it and keep being active. Could not be happier being a part of the HSP community. I have found it comforting that there are other people out there with HSP that I can talk to.


  1. You are truly an amazing bloke!!! I have never come across anyone with a bigger smile than yours !!!
    It was a pleasure working along with you and always extremely happy to see you 🙂
    Keep on going :)!!!

  2. Matt
    I’m sure it is hard to imagine just how emotionally, as well as physically, challenging your condition must be. I know that the process of coming to terms with it has been tough for you – as it would be for anyone, but to hear you now say its made you a better person demonstrates how incredibly brave and resilient you are. Sharing your story will also help others realise that despite changes that the condition imposes, it is nevertheless possible to live a fulfilling life. I’m proud to have you as a relative.

    Penny xxx

  3. Matthias, you have told me your story before, however seeing it in print really resonates with me. This is a strong and generous achievement sharing your battles and your outlook of living with HSP. Count on our support Snack Packer, even if the best we can do is to keep you laughing.

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