Thursday, July 17, 2003

Matt Dolan, 30, was family's 'comeback kid'


He enjoyed sports, fund-raising for disabled people

By Rebecca Goodman
The Cincinnati Enquirer

[photo]
Mr. Dolan

GREENHILLS - Matt Dolan was a vital and sociable man who, while dealing with cerebral palsy and a seizure disorder, never considered himself disabled.

He experienced life to the fullest by participating in sports and church activities, working at his job with Goodwill Industries and raising money for Starfire - an organization that helps disabled people achieve goals. Mr. Dolan was the champion fund-raiser for its annual bowl-a-thon.

And he cheered as loud as anyone for the Fighting Irish, the Bearcats, the Musketeers and the Reds.

Mr. Dolan, 30, died at his home in Greenhills on Monday from complications following brain surgery.

Soon after he was born - on Valentine's Day 1973 - Mr. Dolan was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Although it left him with cerebral palsy and seizures - and susceptible to life-threatening illnesses - he consistently overcame adversity.

"Matt was our gift from God that we shared with the world," said his aunt, Kathie Finney of Greenhills. "He was our comeback kid."

A member of Winton Woods High School's Class of 1995, he bowled with the Special Olympics team.

And when he wasn't playing sports, he loved to keep up with his favorite teams and talk to his friends on the phone about scores and game highlights.

"He was the best sports fan a team could have," said his aunt. "He spent the night before his brain surgery at Great American Ball Park rooting for his beloved Reds.

"No one yelled louder than Matt. And in true form, he never gave up on the underdog."

In addition to his aunt, survivors include: his parents, Bill and Nancy Dolan of Greenhills; two brothers, Sean Dolan of Reading and Ryan Dolan of Greenhills; a sister, Jill Dolan of Pleasant Ridge; a grandmother, Cecilia Suagee of Finneytown; and a great-grandmother, Renilda Wuest of College Hill.

Visitation is 5-8 p.m. today at Paul R. Young Funeral Home, 7345 Hamilton Ave., Mount Healthy. Mass of Christian burial is 10 a.m. Friday at Our Lady of the Rosary Church, 17 Farragut Road, Greenhills. Burial is at Gate of Heaven Cemetery, Montgomery.

Memorials: Starfire, Suite 100A, 2330 Victory Parkway, Cincinnati 45206; Our Lady of the Rosary Church, 17 Farragut Road, Cincinnati 45218; or the Xingu Mission, Attn.: Steve Dolan, P.O. Box 340785, Columbus, OH 45234-0785.

E-mail rgoodman@enquirer.com




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