CLEVELAND — Cleveland sports writer Matt Loede was diagnosed with stage four lymphoma in 2019 and has been fighting it ever since. Loede, who now writes for Outkick and NEO Sports Insiders, has received outpourings of support over the nearly two years since his diagnosis—but this week he received a very special video message.
One of Loede's friends reached out to entertainment mogul Dwayne Johnson, also known as "The Rock" to share his story with the former wrestler turned businessman and actor.
After reading about Loede's battle with cancer, Johnson immediately took to his phone to record a message of encouragement.
"Matt, thank you for being a fan, No. 1, but most importantly I want to tell you to stay strong and you are a fighter," Johnson said in the video message to Loede. "Stay strong man, hang in there and I'm sending you nothing but love and strength and light and mana."
I can’t begin to thank @TheRock for taking even a few moments of his busy schedule to send me this amazing video - talk about an incredible human being & someone who pays it forward! Thx you @LindseyBaseball for the gift of a lifetime! pic.twitter.com/WBiVPekldi— Matt Loede (@MattLoede) February 26, 2021
Loede shared the news in January that despite numerous rounds of chemotherapy, his cancer still remained in three small spots. That news in January was an indicator that the cancer will likely remain for the rest of his life.
In the update in January, Loede said that his body could not handle any additional chemotherapy and instead he would be given a medicine to hopefully prevent the three spots from growing and allow him to live a normal life, thanking everyone who had been supporting and praying for him along his journey.
"I’ll never stop fighting or believing that God can and at some point will take this all away," Loede wrote on Twitter.
Just a few weeks later, Loede shared news that he had tested positive for COVID-19 and was in the hospital with a fever and bad cough, which he thankfully has been able to recover from.
Throughout his battles, Loede has remained positive and has been an inspiration to many along the way—something Johnson made sure to remind him of in his message.
"You inspire a lot of people around you—everyone around you, you inspire, including myself," Johnson said. "So now I'm your fan man, I'm probably your biggest fan—literally your biggest fan."
Loede shared the video on Twitter, thanking Johnson for taking the time to record it and sending it to him, calling it the "gift of a lifetime."
"I can’t begin to thank The Rock for taking even a few moments of his busy schedule to send me this amazing video - talk about an incredible human being & someone who pays it forward!" Loede wrote.
Johnson responded on Twitter, happy to see the message made it on social media so "millions can see what a real fighter looks like."
I won’t say much about this but I read an email last night that moved me and immediately turned my phone around and sent this back to my team. Didn’t expect to see it on my Twitter feed - I’m happy I did. Now millions can see what a real fighter looks like.— Dwayne Johnson (@TheRock) February 26, 2021
Stay strong, brother. https://t.co/4N4tGPsNQq