Hayley adds: “I definitely felt an instant connection with Matt. I’m not sure if it was the similar experiences or just the way we bounced off each other. But I made sure that he knew that I was always there if he needed support.”
Matt’s father, Gary, was diagnosed with stage four brain cancer and was sadly given 11-14 months to live. Matt reveals that he kept his fighting spirit right up until the very end.
“Dad did make it past those 14 months,” Matt adds. “He was stubborn and a true fighter. He never lost his positive outlook on life.”
Despite attending his father’s funeral just days before joining the show, Matt knew his dad wouldn’t want him to miss an opportunity to meet the woman of his dreams.
“My father was all about grabbing every opportunity, and I think he would have hated to see me pass this opportunity by because of his death,” he says.
“As much as I needed to be there with the family, they also understood that I needed to do something for me. And, I think Dad would be very proud of me putting myself out there – it’s not easy.”
Read more in this week's New Idea, on sale now.
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