I was born on November 14, 1989, to Anissa and Peter Storey. I don’t remember a lot about growing up but I do remember waiting on the back porch for Dad to come home so we could play cricket, and being a chubby little kid with a blonde afro (it was pretty cool, and I drank a lot of milk!). My younger sister, Ashley, came along in 1997, which was pretty cool. We’ve always been close, and love a good movie watching session together.
I went to Wallsend South Public School from 1995 to 2001, where I was school captain in 2001. I played soccer for two years with South Wallsend and also began competitive swimming, where I won state medals, and broke district records.
I attended Merewether High School from 2002-2007. I continued to swim through this, and won National medals to go along with my state medals and district records. I also started working at Coles in 2006 as a checkout chick. High school was awesome, and I miss it every day. We had a great year, and a great bunch of teachers. I’ll never forget getting up in front of the whole school with my good friend Nick Scully and singing and dancing a great rendition of 5ive’s ‘Keep on Moving’ in year 12. I’ll also never forget being robbed of a 50m freestyle victory over Nick Ebrill in year 11 due to a terrible judges call. I’d had a cup of tea and some biscuits before Nick touched the wall, and he knows it!
I was lucky enough to be accepted into the Bachelor of Physiotherapy course at the University of Newcastle in 2008. However, I was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s in July of that year, just after the completion of first semester exams. To read more about my diagnosis and subsequent treatments, check out ‘Matt’s Cancer Journey’. I’ve managed to complete a few other subjects since the diagnosis, but as I’m now essentially incurable, finishing the degree is not possible.
However, I have been able to work. After all those years swimming up and down the black line, I wanted to do some teaching and coaching. So, in 2009, I became a Learn to Swim Teacher at the Forum (which is located at Newcastle University) and later a lifeguard and coach. I’m very lucky to know and coach a really nice group of kids.
Since I had the bone marrow transplant in November 2010, I’ve been back in the water swimming. As I’ve had a transplant, I’m eligible to compete in the World Transplant Games. I wanted to go to next years’ games, but as I’ve been sick all year, this isn’t realistic. So, I’ll go to the next games in 2015, with a goal of winning 5 gold medals and breaking 5 world records. A tough ask, yes, but one I know I can achieve.
- Movie – the Shawshank Redemption, with an honourable mention to Pulp Fiction.
- TV Series – Dexter, with Breaking Bad, Friends, Seinfeld and the Wire closely following it.
- Band – The Smashing Pumpkins
- Song – 1979 by the Smashing Pumpkins
- Sport – Swimming (what else?!). Rugby League, Cricket, and Football all get honourable mentions.
- Hero – Michael Hussey, and my Mum, with an honourable mention to Michael Phelps.
- Book – Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
- Team – the mighty Newcastle Knights.