By Melodi Colvin
Matt has never let his diagnosis of Agenesis of the Corpus Callosum (ACC) keep him from his dreams. After developmental delays in early years, he was officially diagnosed with ACC at age nine when a CAT scan showed he was missing the part of the brain that connects the cerebral hemispheres.
Matt’s parents, Gary and Kathy, created the ACC Network to help connect families that had a member with ACC. They created this group with help from the University of Maine in the late 1980s, around Matt’s freshman year of high school. The ACC Network included an online discussion group (ACC-Listserv) that helped participants communicate with each other. In 2003, the NODCC was created and sometime after Matt’s parents retired.
Growing up Matt attended gatherings and conferences with his parents and was active on the ACC-Listserv. He said “it was really cool being able to meet other people” that had ACC. Matt said, “When the listserv was started there was only me and one other person in Maine, and now they are many people in all states.”
At one early ACC Network gathering in Ohio, Matt met The Real Rain Man: Kim Peek. Dustin Hoffman’s character in the 1988 movie Rain Man is based on Kim who also had ACC. Matt said he enjoyed listening to Kim talk about the many facts he knew.
While in school Matt participated in multiple sports including football, baseball, track, basketball, and swimming. He started coaching youth basketball, when he was a junior in high school, and he still coaches today.
Now 44 years old, living with ACC has become more manageable for Matt. “I think it’s still difficult with the social cues, but it’s not as bad as when I was growing up,” said Matt.
In addition to sports, Matt found a passion in photography while taking a digital photography class at Husson University. At Husson, he pursued a degree in sports journalism but found that it was more on the broadcasting side and changed his major because he didn’t feel comfortable in broadcasting. Matt wanted to be on the print side of sports, so he changed his major to business management with a concentration in sports management.
Matt eventually left Husson University and transferred back to where he later earned his associate’s degree: Eastern Maine Community College. He is now working toward a certificate in small business and wants to use his certificate to build his photography business. Getting to photography jobs can be a challenge for Matt because he is unable to get his driver’s license due to lack of depth perception.
“I am working to overcome all the issues I have so I can get my business up and going,” added Matt.
Even without his driver’s license, Matt can be found around town taking action photos mostly of school sports teams. Visit https://www.mainesportsblog.com/ to view Matt’s photography portfolio.
This story is part of the Adults with DCC series that showcases the abilities and lives of real adults living with disorders of the corpus callosum. Students at The University of Texas at Arlington interviewed and wrote stories for this series.