Matt was a two-sport standout at Villanova on the football field and the baseball diamond. He was a highly-sought after professional prospect in both sports. On the football field he was an impact player at wide receiver, running back, wildcat quarterback and return specialist on special teams. During his junior season, Szczur was a consensus All-American and was named the CAA Offensive Player of the Year as Villanova went on to win its first-ever FCS National Championship. In the 2009 NCAA Division I Football Championship Game, he gained 270 all-purpose yards and was awarded MVP honors.
All of those accolades pale in comparison to his willingness to give it all up if it meant having the opportunity to save the life of a young leukemia patient he had never met. Matt registered for the National Marrow Donor Program during one of the annual registry drives held on campus and sponsored by Villanova football coach Andy Talley. Though the odds of being a match are just 1-in-80,000, Szczur was identified as the perfect match for a patient.
Matt donated bone marrow to a 15-month-old Ukrainian girl named Anastasia battling leukemia. He essentially helped save her life given the severity of Anastasia’s condition and how hard it would have been to find another person that was a match for bone marrow. Matt’s story was documented by ESPN in one of its E:60 episodes.