In May 2019, Matt Laster was in remote, northern Ghana, near the Togo Border, on assignment for National Geographic. He was there to produce a piece on a Clean Drinking Water initiative with P&G and World Vision. Upon experiencing strange symptoms on the first day of the shoot, Matt was taken to a health hut in the rural province of Zabzugu. While waiting to be seen, he was kept company by the local Ghanaians and World Vision Ghana Staff, who checked on him, fetched things like Tylenol/water and waited with him at such a disconcerting time.
Matt was transported to a regional health clinic and then to capital city Accra for evaluation, then quickly home to DC, where he was diagnosed soon after with a glioblastoma.
Since that time, Matt has battled brain cancer with two surgeries, chemo, radiation, an Onc trail and an ever-galvanized Christian faith. He, his wife AnChi, and their two boys face a lot of unknowns.
It speaks volumes of his character that, despite these challenges and the upending of life as he knew it, the kindness Matt experienced in Ghana has remained on his heart and mind.
Matt Laster turned 40 on April 1, 2021. It is his birthday wish to give back to the good people of Zabzugu and bring attention and aid to their need for clean water. He has worked with World Vision to create a fund for just that purpose.