WHAT PEOPLE SAY
— Name, Title
When I reflect on my time at University of Wisconsin-Madison, I think about my time spent with Matthew Weed. While getting to know Dr. Weed on a personal level, I was impacted in countless ways. I was reminded me why I wanted to become a health professional. He is the kind of person you think of at certain points in time during your life and realize how incredible it was to meet someone like him and how they have helped shape the person that you have become.
Matt has always been generous and gracious in sharing with me his wide range of expertise in health care policy and his personal experience with managing chronic health conditions. These insights motivated me to pursue multiple research projects to identify effective ways to reduce barriers to medical care in several therapeutic areas. Looking back, I am most grateful to Matt for having shaped and inspired my personal and professional growth in such a significant way.
Before Matt, I had felt a separation between myself and people with disability. Getting to know him on a personal level made me forget that separation as he became another friend. I became aware that at foundation we are all the same. The epiphany has since helped me in my personal and professional life.
Dr. Jack Barber
Hurtling through leagues of startled high school students, Matt created a tapestry of life whilst raising “cane” in unexpected venues. He wove his way into our lives, creating joie de vivre wherever he went. The defining day was marked by his announcing that he was going to attend an Ivy League School and needed to know various concepts to accomplish this goal. This Matt Weed, sliding pell mell on the wings of adolescence into my life, buoyed me to greater heights and made my life rich.
I’ve known Matt since we were students together at North Junior High School in Colorado Springs. He was ahead of me in school by one year—one of the “big kids” I admired most. My first impression of him when I was a lowly seventh grader was how incredibly determined and independent he was, striding down the hallways with his heavy Brailler in one hand and his cane in the other. Woe to anyone who wasn’t paying attention enough to step out of his way!
Dr. Boris Veysman
Matt has a secret to share for those prepared hear it. Life for all of us can sometimes be just a float down a river with only occasional rapids interrupting a tranquil path. And occasionally it is a dirt bike ride with ups and downs and a share of risk, bumps, and bruises that pay off in freedom and excitement. Dr. Weed climbs a mountain daily. Not sitting and complaining about the cold in a cabin, not riding the lift, not merely accepting an existence below his soul's vision.
I have found him to be one of the world’s best conversationalists—quick, engaging, shrewd, and formidably informed about public affairs. At one point we had a routine wherein in I met Matt at late afternoon at his Yale Medical School quarters, and then we strolled to Atticus on Chapel Street for a long talk about this and that. We solved a lot of the world’s problems. Matt’s lessons to me: Keep optimistic, keep plugging, and try to stay on top of everything going on in the world.
I came to know Dr. Weed by working as part of a team of university students who came to help with his insulin regimen. How lucky I was to run across this experience. Dr. Weed is an inspiration to all—never have I met someone who sees a disability as an ability like he does. Nothing—and I mean literally nothing stops him. Roller blading and being blind. Enough said.
Matt’s example and advice have helped me to choose a career path that is right for me and to work everyday in service of others. Matt strongly believes in the value of community service and in building a life that prioritizes helping others. The more I get to know Matt, the greater my appreciation for the potential that lies within all of us, and the abilities we have to rise to meet the challenges we face.
I have learned one thing through my interactions with Matt all these years. The importance of being generous with the people around you, and positive despite any difficulties that arise. Each difficulty is a new opportunity to test your boundaries and achieve more rather than an excuse to give up. I feel that Matt practices this every day of his life – despite the lack of recognition and appreciation at times. I would like to thank him for all I have learned from him.
Matthew taught me that the only limits in life are those we create. Sometimes when I am afraid to take on something big, I think about how it must have been for Matthew to learn how to ski. The fact that Matthew is blind does not stop him from taking on anything he wants to do. It was never an impediment. Rather it was an opportunity to figure out how to do something that many others just wouldn't try.
The motivation, persistence, and kindness I have seen in Dr. Weed have given me one major takeaway- inspiration: inspiration to achieve my goals, inspiration to help others, and most importantly, inspiration to live each day to its fullest potential. I have taken this inspiration I found with me to dental school.
Laura and Patrick Cooney
After I graduated from medical school and started residency in Philadelphia, Matt came and visited for a weekend. He was eager to see Philadelphia and was particularly excited about the Mutter Museum – a museum with medical oddities including books made out of human flesh or a preserved colon measuring 8 feet in length. As we walked through the rooms, I read the captions and described theexhibits for him. I think that Matt “saw” and appreciated more of the museum than most visitors.
Through our time together at Rotary, we developed a friendship. Matt shared that he was actively looking to initiate relationships with people who would take him to community events to improve his ability to be active, and more fully experience Madison. What I enjoyed the most was his personal perspective on life, given his gifts and challenges, depth of knowledge and interest iin a wide variety of subject matters coupled with his unique sense of humor.
Kathryn, Erica and Alexandra Schmidt
Once we got to know him on a personal level, we were able to gain further insight into just how accomplished Matt truly is. Additionally, Matt has contributed to all of our decisions to attend medical school, where we hope to make lasting relationships with patients, as we have with Matt. The lessons we have learned from Matt in the area of preventative medicine will surely help us in our medical educations.
My name is Mitch Thompson and I met Dr. Weed when I was a junior at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Seeing how Dr. Weed has been able to overcome adversity and become successful put my own obstacles in perspective. Dr. Weed inspired me to make the most of my life and to be willing to experience new opportunities.
WHAT PEOPLE SAY
— Name, Title