A 25-Year Reflection: Eric Interviews Matt and Lisa Peck

For the past 25 years, Cancer Support Community Central Indiana (CSC) has led the charge in Indiana to build a vibrant community of cancer survivors and their loved ones, providing relevant and highly personalized support when and where it is needed most.

In celebration of Cancer Support Community Central Indiana’s 25th Anniversary, we’ll share stories looking at our beginning, our present, and our future on the 25th of each month. We’ll celebrate the visionaries who started our journey, chronicle stories of our participants, and show the impact of our services. We’ll also explore our hopes and plans for the next 25 years and beyond.

Longtime CSC participants (and all-around incredible CSC ambassadors) Lisa and Matt Peck were kind enough to lend us a few minutes of their time for a 25th Anniversary edition of Eric’s Interviews. You can watch the full interview above—and we highly encourage you to do so, as it was an absolute joy to chat with them! But in case you’re more of a reader than a watcher, here are a few of the highlights:

“I was gobsmacked.”

For most people, a cancer diagnosis comes completely out of the blue, and Matt’s diagnosis in 2009 was no exception. When he ended up in the hospital after a grand mal seizure and was given the news that it was brain cancer, Matt was disoriented and struggled to accept what was happening. When Eric asked what went through his head when he heard the news, Matt chuckled and said his main concern was that he was going to be late for work (Lisa is quick to point out that, until this point, he’d never missed a day). Three separate people had to reinforce to him that something was very wrong, and he needed to stay put.

Overnight, the Pecks’ lives had changed. With two young boys (10 and 7 years old) to raise, Lisa couldn’t help but wonder if she was going to have to do it alone. It was an unpredictable and scary time for the whole family—they were treading completely unknown waters and realized very quickly that they might need outside resources to help them get through.

“Does everybody get brain cancer?”

During a doctor visit, Lisa saw literature about Cancer Support Community and was intrigued by the fact that it was a free resource for everyone in the family. Her oldest son, in particular, was really struggling with what his dad was going through. At one point he asked her, “does everybody get brain cancer?” She realized that he was also in need of resources to get through this, and so her boys became participants in CSC’s Kids Club. It was a great way for them to be able to talk about their feelings, share what was going on at home, and just have fun and be with other kids who were going through the same thing.

“I was in the right place at the right time.”

In addition, Lisa became a very active member in the Friends and Family Support Group, attending weekly counseling sessions for caregivers. While there were several people there struggling with different types of cancer, there were also two other women whose husbands had also been diagnosed with brain cancer. What were the chances? That experience made her feel like it was no accident that she came to CSC when she did.

While the Peck family had a wonderful support system through their church, friends, and family, Lisa notes that there’s really nothing quite like spending time with people who are living through cancer. It was such a relief to talk to people who understood what that looks and feels like on a day to day basis.

“The counselors at CSC remind me of a corner man for a boxer.”

When asked what advice they’d give others going through their own cancer journey, Matt threw this fantastic metaphor into the ring. “You’re out there, you’re slugging, you’re taking the blows. When you come back in between rounds, they’re the person that’s telling you you’re doing well here, this is what you want to watch out for.”

In all, the Peck family found CSC to be very encouraging, informative, and supportive. Lisa wants others to realize that they’re not in this alone. There are people that are going through the same thing, people who care and who can help. She and Matt are so grateful for the support of CSC, that their resources are free, and that they welcome everyone with open arms.

We, in turn, are so grateful to the Pecks for spreading the word about our mission and our programs and for being such passionate ambassadors for the CSC!

Join Us for the Journey!

How have you been impacted by Cancer Support Community? We invite you to share your stories and memories by emailing info@cancersupportindy.org.

Thank you to our 25th Anniversary Celebration Sponsors!
  • Lilly Oncology
  • Tracy Haddad
  • Gary and Janet Stach
  • John, Cathy and Margaret Langham
  • Nicholas H. Noyes Jr. Memorial Foundation