He fought the good fight . . .
FROM the very moment Matt Laffan was born, he defied the odds.
Suffering from a rare genetic condition, diastrophic dysplaysia, Matt was given just one week to live from birth.
But defying all odds and expectations, Matt not only lived through that first week but began an extraordinary life that amazed many and inspired more.
Sadly, after several weeks battling health complications, Matt's remarkable life came to an end on the weekend.
According to friends, Matt was always going to inspire.
Although confined to a wheelchair since the age of 10, he continually surpassed all expectations in everything he attempted - his drive and passion for life pushing him to achieving what many would describe as unbelieveable feats.
Attending John Paul College and Coffs Harbour High School, Matt was actively involved in the Coffs Harbour Rugby Club, writing their weekly column for the Advocate. He travelled to all the games alongside the team.
Close friend, Bruce Worboys, said everyone adored Matt.
“He was dearly loved by everyone involved in the rugby scene, especially by the players of that generation - he travelled to all of our games on the bus with us, we looked after him like he was our own,” he said.
Matt was awarded Coffs Harbour Junior Citizen of the Year in his last year of high school, then studied at the Unversity of Sydney to pursue his dream of becoming a lawyer.
From there he practised privately, worked for the Department of Public Prosecutions, ran for Lord Mayor of Sydney and become an ambassador for people with disabilities.
His story captured the nation as he appeared on Australian Story, This is Your Life and Enough Rope with Andrew Denton - just to name a few.
“He inspired so many people, he truly was a remarkable man,” Mr Worboys said.