by: Erica Bryant Updated:
TROUTMAN, N.C. - The community is rallying behind an Iredell County seventh grader who was recently diagnosed with brain cancer.
The words "Pray for Matt" are painted on a rock outside of Troutman Middle School in honor of Matthew Bailey.
He was diagnosed with an aggressive form of brain cancer just a few weeks ago.
The family's pastor Joel Settle said, "It's a very aggressive tumor. It's a rare tumor. But they are treating it aggressively."
The pastor said Matthew started radiation last week started and began oral chemotherapy Monday.
Matthew's family is by his side and has started a CaringBridge page to document his progress.
His classmates at Northview IB in Statesville are wearing royal blue in a show of solidarity.
The family attends Watermark Church. The congregation has also been praying and rallying the community to keep Matthew inspired to fight by working to make some of his biggest dreams a reality.
Settle got the idea after seeing how well Matthew responded after his family was recently given courtside seats to watch the Bobcats play.
"Matt had such a great time at that event. It just helped him to forget about his struggles and really helped him physically to get past some headaches," the pastor said.
Settle asked Matthew to come up with a top 10 list of things he wants to do. The sports fanatic and star student athlete came up with a list that includes throwing a football with Cam Newton, playing horse with Michael Jordan and meeting Johnny Manziel.
Settle said everyone is committed to doing everything they can to keep Matthew's spirits high and his faith strong.
"This is all about Matthew, so we're trying to do all we can to embrace him encourage him and support him through this,” Settle said.
Doctors have cleared Matthew to attend the Final Four this weekend in Dallas after the pastor said Lowe's Home Improvement offered to help send him there. He will attend the Final Four with his father.
We revealed Matthew's top 10 list on Twitter.
No. 1: Throw a football with Cam Newton
No. 2: Play H-O-R-S-E with Bobcats owner Michael Jordan
No. 3: Tebow with Tim Tebow
No. 4: Play a pick up game with Kevin Durant
No. 5: Meet Johnny Manziel
✔ No. 6: Go to the NCAA Final Four
No. 7: Visit Cameron Indoor Arena, meet Coach K
No. 8: Sit courtside for a Miami Heat game
No. 9: Go to the Super Bowl
No. 10: Go to an NBA Finals game
Eyewitness News reporter Tenikka Smith spoke with the pastor of Watermark Church to see what they are doing to fulfill Matthew’s goal.
For more information from the church, visit its Facebook page.
Click here to leave your well-wishes for Matthew on his CaringBridge page.
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