Misson for Matt (formerly Matt’s Mission)

Our community, our NAC family, and everyone blessed to know Matt and his family are always asking, “ how can we help?”.  With the help of Newtown Athletic Club’s Have a Heart Foundation, we are introducing the Mission for Matt.

In 2014 Matt Bellina was diagnosed with ALS, a neurological disease that robs a person of all abilities such as walking, talking and eating and any chance of being independent.  While Matt’s story of survival is remarkable, over the past few months his health has taken a turn, he now requires round-the-clock care and support.

During the initial years after being diagnosed with ALS, “Matt’s Mission” was created to help raise awareness and funds for others fighting ALS.  Matt and his wife, Caitlin, have worked tirelessly to help raise over one million dollars for ALS research.  They also played an instrumental role in the passage of the Right to Try Law in May 2018.

Now, join us in our Mission for Matt.

Mission for Matt aims to alleviate the Bellina family’s financial strain caused by ALS. With Matt’s declining health, Caitlin has become his full-time caregiver, sometimes putting her role as wife and mother on hold to prioritize Matt’s well-being. Your donations will enable Caitlin to afford the best care for Matt, ensuring he maintains the highest quality of life despite the challenges of ALS. Additionally, these funds will ensure that the Bellina boys, JP (12), Kip (10), and Pax (7), can maintain meaningful connections with their father, without his additional needs hindering their time together.

Please join us in donating to the Mission for Matt and help us achieve our goal.  

NAC Have A Heart Foundation generously kicked off this campaign with a $5,000 donation.  

Please join us in our Mission for Matt to help ease the financial burden associated with the level of care this terrible terminal illness requires.

Please write in the Event field “Mission for Matt”.

You may also donate through VENMO.  Please indicate that your donation is for Mission for Matt.

Matt’s Story and Diagnosis

One wild man, one stubborn woman, three crazy boys and one terminal diagnosis!

Matt and Caitlin’s story started when they met in 2002 in Blacksburg, VA. An unruly, impossibly cute cadet on dorm restriction and a hungry, french-fry loving college freshman. Not quite love at first sight. Fast forward through 5 years of college life and entering the “real world” of Naval aviation. They married in the fall of 2007. Matt was in training to be a Naval Aviator in Meridian, MS. He earned his Wings of Gold in the spring of 2008. From Meridian, he selected Prowlers (EA-6B) and they moved from the South to a tiny island  (Whidbey Island) north of Seattle in the Puget Sound. Everything started going a little sideways.

Matt was flying when he noticed his “throttle hand” cramping and he was having vertigo issues, especially when he was in the clouds. He was grounded. He remained in the Navy and volunteered for a trip  to Djibouti, Africa for 9 months while waiting for the symptoms to clear. The symptoms never cleared.

From Whidbey Island they – the two  of them – moved to Minneapolis, MN so Matt could fill an administrative billet at the MEPS (Military Entrance Processing Station). They recently adopted a dog and found out they were expecting their first child. Matt’s symptoms continued to plague him but he seemed healthy otherwise. It was while they were in Minneapolis that they first heard those awful three letters – ALS. By that time, they had a 6 month-old and were starting to think about going for #2. ALS DID NOT fit into their life plan. They were NOT OK with Matt only being around another 2-5 years (the typical lifespan of someone diagnosed with this terminal disease)!

The Navy determined active duty was no  longer a viable option for Matt and allowed them to “choose” where he would transition back into civilian life. Matt and Caitlin chose Philadelphia. Once stationed in Philly, the University of Pennsylvania Neurology department, on April 8, 2014, delivered Matt’s official diagnosis of ALS.