The Eau Claire Express are proud to present Home Run For Life sponsored by Mayo Clinic Health System, Each season the Express and Mayo Clinic Health System are proud to honor individuals in our community that have overcome a major medical diagnosis. Below are the stories of Steve Larson and Matthew Makekla who were honored at Carson Park during the 2019 Season.

Steve Larson, 35, an active and healthy father of three was digging out from a snowstorm last year and began developing symptoms of what he thought was a hernia.

Getting checked out for a hernia is how it started. a mass turned out to be cancerous. Testicular cancer is a highly treatable, and in many cases, curable cancer.

Following a second surgery, Larson underwent chemotherapy and is now in remission. He says he’s forever thankful to his medical team for the excellent care they gave him.

Matthew Makela, a 3-year-old, tucks in 20 stuffed animals nightly and gives his younger sister, Emily Makela, a kiss, hug and farewell message of “Bye, little girl” at day care drop-off daily.

Matthew has a rare condition known as tetralogy of Fallot, a combination of four congenital heart defects. Matthew underwent his first cardiac surgery at 7 days old. In the future, he’ll need pulmonary valve replacement surgery.

The results of Matthew’s echocardiogram in December 2018 suggested no new intervention is needed. The Makela’s are thankful for their entire care team,