History is a teacher.

Matthew Zachary
2 min readSep 23, 2022

For no reason, here is me in 7th grade as Wite-Out.

Ten years prior to my being drafted into healthcare.

Just a 12-year-old kid (same age as my son today) who came home from middle school, hopped on his bike, and rode around Staten Island for hours with his friends until the streetlights turned on.

Little did we know. Little does anyone know?

No one asks to get sick. And yet, here we are.

When you or someone you love has healthcare land on them like a ton of bricks, “be your own advocate” doesn’t always cut it. When your zip code and your very DNA determine your fate, whatever level of chutzpah you’re born with may only come in just so handy. I had advantages. Many do not. I also got crazy lucky. Many do not.

It’s easier to say “life was simpler” back then when it came to health and wellness. Pros and cons for sure. Instead of there being too much information, there was none. And that lends perspective to our narrative today.

What’s the over/under?

Either way, the playing field is leveled when your doctor’s jargon goes all “Charlie Brown teacher,” and you realize there’s no elderly smock-laden greeter waiting for you when you enter the “Shit Happens Store” that is our fabulous healthcare landscape. Unlike the Wizard of Oz, everything goes from color to black and white.

I’m 48. Like all of you, beaten up but not taken down. Shaken but not stirred. And all facing the same direction.

I am grateful to have met all of you. It truly is the club no one wants to join, but, like it or not, once you’re here, you’re family.

“Get on your bikes and ride.” — Freddie Mercury



Matthew Zachary

Influencer of Things | Award-Winning Cancer Maverick • Entertainer • Speaker • Pianist • Documentarian • Podfather • Nonprofit Dude • Patient Advocate