Matty was in the same fraternity as I was. He always wanted to be treated like one of the guys, not as someone with a disease. Physically he was small, but his heart and sense of humour were larger than life. Rest in peace Matty – we are all going to miss you.


MATTYPhoto by: Chris Hearn

Public speaking is scary for some, painful for others, but for Matthew Rygiel(Matty), a little stage fright is nothing he can’t handle. Matty walks up to the Toastmasters podium to compete in the 2013 Club Humorous Speech Contest. For him, the rush that comes along with speaking in front of a crowd is the best painkiller he’s ever known.

“Fellow toastmasters, most welcome guests, judges, Madame contest chair: today I am going to share with you the short man’s three laws of attraction,” says Matty with a sparkle in his eyes. “And when I say short man, I use that as a term of ‘dis-endearment’: the short man is not sought after, okay? It is settled upon.”

The crowd breaks into a fit of giggles as Matty lists the rules in his personalized dating guide. Accept your flaws. Know what you like. Research and adapt. Smart…

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