Helping our own: Fundraiser for a member of the Oregon startup community stricken by MS

[Editor: It’s all well and good to talk about “community” and “collaboration.” But Portland and the broader Oregon startup scene often blow me away with their support. And I’m never more impressed than seeing the way our community rallies to help its members. This is another opportunity to do so.]


The Paleo Plan campaign has ended, raising more than $8000 for Matt and his family. If you would still like to help, please visit helpmatt.org to donate. Thank you.


tl;dr: Paleo Plan is holding a special benefit sale to raise money for Matt McCabe, local friend and developer, who’s recently been stricken with aggressive MS, while already struggling to raise a severely autistic son. We are asking for donations.

Part of what’s really special about Portland and its tech scene is the camaraderie and unity of those here. You’ll see folks overhearing a talk in a coffee shop—and instead of stealing the idea—jumping in and helping the people right then and there. I like to think that among us tech workers, we feel and treat each other like family.

And, while Portland has set boundaries that define the city limits, those in the tech scene tend to embrace all of Oregon’s tech scene as well. Which is why this story, set in nearby Hood River, still feels like it’s part of Portland’s family.

You see, Matt McCabe is a front-end developer who lived in Portland for years. He’s lived in Hood River for the past couple, working as a freelancer and at local interactive agencies Summit and Blue Collar as well. In October of last year, he suddenly came down with very aggressive symptoms that led to the diagnosis of MS. He spent three months in the hospital, and is still re-learning how to walk and type. His vision has finally improved enough that he can read normal sized type.

His wife has been fortunate to have had the ability to be a stay-at-home mom, as their son has severe autism and is non-verbal. With Matt’s onset of MS symptoms, they’re left with no ability to work or create income, and Jillian’s now faced with being the primary care-giver for both her son and her husband. To say that they’re needs are severe is a staggering understatement.

It’s an incredibly tragic story, but one that does have hope. Matt’s conditions are slowly improving, and he’s optimistic that he will someday be able to work building websites again. He’s also treating his condition with his diet, following some groundbreaking, early-stage research led by Dr. Terry Wahls, who’s completely reversed her MS symptoms by following a Paleo diet.

And since this is MS Awareness Week, and since Matt has been a friend of ours who even helped us with our email templates last year, Paleo Plan is holding a benefit sale to raise money and awareness for the McCabe family. through next Monday, Paleo Plan is selling both of it’s ebook as a package for only $17 ($42 off the normal price), with 100% of all money donated going to the McCabe’s. Any donation over $100 will also get a free year of Paleo Plan’s meal plans.

However, that doesn’t mean you have to like or want anything paleo to help. You can also go directly to helpmatt.org to read more and to donate directly. And they are currently holding a clothing drive for their son, London (6T or Child’s Small clothing).

Whichever you choose, let’s rally around a very heartbreaking situation by showing this family that being part of the tech scene in Oregon means you’re part of a family, and let’s shower them with donations and support. And let’s choose to embrace their hope as well, and demonstrate that with a donation today.

You can take part in the Paleo Plan benefit sale or again, donate directly at helpmatt.org

Thank you.

Jason Glaspey

(Image courtesy Leigh Anderson. Used under Creative Commons.)

  1. Thanks for organizing this, Glaspey. Really unfortunate situation.

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