When local chef Matt Sullivan was 14, he was already cooking up a storm in his family’s kitchen, a path that led him to running a successful catering company and neighborhood food-delivery business, Durbin Dinners, in Julington Creek. So when he heard that his neighbor Nathaniel, who is about to turn 14, was at Wolfson Children’s Hospital battling an aggressive form of cancer called acute myeloid leukemia, he wanted to do what he could to help.
For an entire week, Sullivan donated half of his sales --$1,000 -- to the family with expenses related to having a child with cancer. Then he made little gourmet meals like filet mignon, and personally delivered them to Nathaniel’s hospital room.
But his generosity didn’t stop there. Sullivan heard that Nathaniel would be in the hospital on Thanksgiving, so he cooked dinner for Nathaniel’s family, and the entire staff on the unit, donating enough turkey, stuffing and the fixings to feed more than 20 people. The son of a nurse, Sullivan knew what it was like for his mother, who sometimes missed dinner with the family because she was working her hospital shift.
“The team here at Wolfson Children's Hospital and on the Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Unit is very dedicated to taking care of the children in our care, and even on holidays and weekends, we never have trouble finding staff to work,” said Christopher Noll, BSN, RN, NE-BC, nurse manager. “For someone to do something wonderful like this to recognize them for their efforts is very kind, and greatly appreciated.”
Nathaniel and his family are also thankful. “Nathaniel couldn’t be home for Thanksgiving but Chef Matt made the day special for us,” said Lisa Nelson, Nathaniel’s mom. “We feel so much gratitude for what he’s done for us.”
“It’s the least I can do for Nathaniel, who is fighting the good fight, but also for the staff,” said Sullivan, whose son also benefitted from care he received at Wolfson Children’s when he was a toddler. “It’s my way of saying thank you to the whole institution for what they did for him, and for what they’re doing now for Nathaniel.”
Wolfson Children’s Hospital relies on the generosity of members of our community. To support Wolfson Children’s Hospital, please visit wolfsonchildrens.org/waystogive.