Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

In Memory of Matthew; Lasting Tribute to a Much-Loved Son and Brother

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

In Memory of Matthew; Lasting Tribute to a Much-Loved Son and Brother

Article excerpt

Byline: KATIE DICKINSON Reporter katie.dickinson@trinitymirror.com @@KATIEJDICKINSON

HIS family described him as a funny, intelligent music lover with "an incredibly active mind and a lust for life".

But Matthew Millar's life was tragically cut short just three days after reaching his 26th birthday.

The former Northumbria University student had struggled with the wasting disease, muscular dystrophy, since birth.

Now, determined to create a lasting legacy for Matthew, his family have ensured his memory will live on in the place he called a "second home".

The new Matthew started visiting St Oswald's Hospice, in Gosforth, Newcastle, at 13 for respite care, and used the service up until he turned 25.

When Matthew died, his family wanted money left in his memory to be used to benefit others at St Oswald's, and decided a bathroom makeover would be the best way to leave a legacy for him.

The transformed bathroom has now opened up to young adults who use the hospice's respite service.

And Matthew's twin sister Rachel, who works as a flight attendant, is raising awareness for muscular dystrophy by travelling the world with Doris the bear - Matthew's companion whenever he stayed at the hospice.

Matthew, from Cramlington, was diagnosed with Duchenne muscular dystrophy at the age of three, and was in a wheelchair by the time he was nine.

Dad Colin, 58, said: "If it hadn't been for the fact that he had a twin sister we might not have picked up on his condition so early.

"We were concerned with his development and his walking so we took him to the doctor."

Matthew was hit by a string of serious illnesses after starting at Northumbria University and spent three separate periods on a high dependency ward at Newcastle's Royal Victoria Infirmary.

The setbacks cut short Matthew's university dream and he was forced to quit his studies in film and media. …

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