At the age of 41, Matthew was diagnosed with metastatic melanoma in April 2006. Once the doctors became aware of the disease, the cancer had already spread from his left arm to his brain. He was expected to live another five years, but passed away only a few short months later, on August 21, 2006, leaving behind mother Christine and children Derek, Jayna, Mitchell and Johanna.
In addition to being a loving father, Matthew was an active community member who played a huge role in initiating and leading several local projects. Matt's greatest achievement was the initial restoration of the old town Mill into an historical landmark that today is the center of community gatherings and the "heart" of the town. In addition to his work on the Mill Park, Matt was the President of Dundee Mill Park and helped build the Sportsman's Lodge and baseball park.
Matt had dreams of renovating his home and finishing the renovations on the town Mill, but those plans were put on hold once he was diagnosed. He will be missed but never forgotten. Before Matt died, he had a chance to ask EMHE for one wish -- to take care of his family and give them the home they deserved.
While the Ty and the Extreme Makeover: Home Edition design team, local builder Monarch Homes, contractors and hundreds of workers and volunteers remember Matt's dreams and work together to transform the Koepke house into a dream home in a remarkable seven days, the family will go on vacation to San Diego.