Donate Now to Support Retired Navy SEAL Matthew Starke's family

RIP Brother

Donate Now to Support Retired Navy SEAL Matthew Starke's family image


raised towards $50,000 goal



Days Left

We are no longer accepting donations on this campaign, but there are other ways for you to support us today!

RIP Brother

Navy SEALs Fund - Brotherhood Beyond Battlefield® needs your help in supporting the family of retired Navy SEAL Matthew Starke.

In 2018, Matt Starke's cancer story was shared publicly to build support for his family and his cancer care needs.

The Starke family showed the world what love is, making every moment count as a family and determined to cherish every blessing in a time of great challenge.

We are so thankful to everyone for their generosity of support for the Starke family as Matt fought hard to beat his cancer odds.

Navy SEALs Fund – Brotherhood Beyond Battlefield® remains steadfast in our support of the Starke family as they begin a new chapter, without Matt.

100% of all donations raised through this campaign go directly to Christine Starke in support of the family during this time of great uncertainty.

UPDATE 20 June 2020 from Christine Starke:

With a heavy heart I want to let everyone know that we lost Matt today. We got to have him for another year and made so many new memories. Matt ultimately got to go on his own time, after fighting cancer for 24 years!

No hospital, he actually passed away at the resort (we were doing a staycation at our beloved Bonnet Creek) and we just celebrated Bohdan’s birthday yesterday. It was quick, unexpected and I believe painless, and they took him out covered in the flag.

Matt was the center of our world and it’s going to be hard to breathe without him here! Matt was the best father, husband, soldier, brother, friend that anyone could ever know. Matt will always be our HERO. Please toast to Matt tonight so he can hear how much he was loved and how much he’ll be missed!

Forever a warrior. Forever our hero. Forever a legend. Happy birthday in heaven to my soulmate, and my best friend. You’ll be with us always. We love you!
(Video Tribute)

MAY 2020:

Hello! We’ve made it to May! This is so incredible! Matt was declared brain dead in August and yet it’s May and so far he is able to maintain his own temperature, breath on his own, and maintain his blood pressure. We remain extremely hopeful. For this update we wanted to share with you all some of our favorite moments with Matt!

The first video is approximately 10 minutes and shows clips of our family taking Matt onto Disney rides, water rides, attractions and other experiences. All are within this last year and I hope you find hope and joy, and feel the love of our family as if you were on this journey with us! The second video is an incredible video taken this last Easter Sunday, and it shows Matt smiling in response to me singing to him. It’s less than a minute. If you want to see more, you can follow our videos of caring for Matt by subscribing to the StarkeFamily on YouTube. We'd love to hear your comments!

Our anniversary is coming up and I’m including a picture from that beautiful day. We were married May 4th, 1991. This has been such an incredible journey! 29 years of memories! I moved into Matt’s locker (uninvited) in high school (1988) and I’m the luckiest girl, because we continued to grow together and became not only husband and wife, but best friends and the proud parents of 5 children (ages 9-23).

Lastly, I want to once again thank you all for the ongoing prayers, love and support! We couldn’t do this without you all! Money donated here goes to getting Matt new supplements, medical supplies, keeping him as active as we can, and now we are desperately trying to save for a therapy pool for him so that he can float and feel the freedom from his wheelchair! Water is an incredible healing source and its extremely difficult to get Matt into a bath or even a shower.

If you watch our first video, you will see how much he loves getting into the pool. Able bodied people can get into a nice warm shower, sit in a jacuzzi, float in a cool pool on a hot day, or take a hot bath when they are sore or need a pick me up. Unfortunately, taking him to water parks or public pools has become extremely difficult with his condition. Thank you again!

Many blessings from the Starke Family

October 2019:

They say that Matt is comatose now, but his heart still beats, he still breaths, he still smiles and he hears his family. Everything they do, they do out of love for Matt and each other. They have been seeing the world, making the most out of every moment they have together. Last year (April 2018) the doctors told Christine to take Matt home and let him die peacefully in his sleep. She told Matt that she would take him anywhere he wanted to go to give him that extra will to live burning bright. Matt chose Alaska. It took over a year to make happen, but they did it!

Despite nay Sayers from all walks of life - the Clinical 'professionals' (who pronounced Matt dead decades ago), the people who reported the family to Social Services for 'endangering' Matt by taking him home instead of leaving him in the hospital to die... this family has pushed on and Matt has defied all odds, fighting cancer in true SEAL fashion.

Today. Tomorrow. None of it is promised. Every day is a gift and not one single beat of the heart is to be taken for granted. All donations are directed 100% to supporting Matt's medical needs and enabling him to be with his family, surrounded by love.

From Christine and the entire family - Thank you from the bottom of my heart to everyone who is supportive and loving of this amazing man. I am so lucky to be part of this incredible journey.

7 Sep 2018 From Matt's Family:

First off, we are so thankful to everyone for their donations, visits, well wishes, and prayers! We were able to have grab bars and shower sprayers installed in our bathrooms and showers. We have been able to get some very decent, slightly used, medical equipment including a reclining wheelchair, walker, suction and tooth/mouth care equipment.

Matt is still in need of equipment that can help get him out of the house (right now, he can only go out when he has someone to carry him). He will eventually need a wheelchair that not only fits his body better, but that is also more portable and can be lifted into the car. It would be even better if Matt had a ramp or a lift to get in and out of the car.

Matt also needs a ramp or a lift to get in and out of the house (which has stairs at every entrance). He needs a bed that can incline to at least 30% (for tube feeding) and a remote control reclining chair for the living room. Matt will also need a new walker and a new suction machine soon. Matt can always use more daily living equipment and personal hygiene products such as dry shower wash, wipes, washcloths, protective bedding and furniture pads, and anti swelling supplements. Once again, every little bit helps and we are so grateful for the support.

July 2018
Matt was loosing a lot of weight as swallowing had become more difficult for him. Matt now has a GI feeding tube and he has finally gained some weight. After his 9 day stay in the hospital with pneumonia, his body was exhausted and he lost the ability to walk, use his arms, eat, and communicate. He has now completed his physical, occupational and speech therapy. Matt is now communicating better (he's still a joker and we love that devious smile), plus he uses a lot of thumbs up/down and is using his voice more and more. Matt is starting to eat and drink ice chips and water daily and has even surprised us by eating regular food from time to time and a little more everyday. Matt works very hard trying to strengthen his muscles by walking around the house, riding on a stationary recumbent bike for short periods and using his arms more by reaching and grabbing for items.

He's got a lot of spirit, determination and willpower. It's important to Matt to spend as much time as he can with his wife of 27+ years and their children (ages 7, 7, 11, 19, & 21). Matt continues to make short terms goals for himself to make it to whatever the next "event" in our life might be. For example... he wanted to make it to his 47th birthday on July 28th, then to the boys' first day of 1st grade on August 14th, and now he's looking forward to seeing the kids dress up for Halloween and is even thinking bigger- he's talking about maybe going to some haunted houses! His long term goal is his 48th birthday (for now). When he was first diagnosed in 1996 his goal was to live to 30. He's come a long way!

Matt is no stranger to these type of goals. When he initially woke up from brain surgery (22+ years ago) he was paralyzed from the neck down and worked for months to regain his ability to walk, talk and even eat again. Over the years, he's been told to get his affairs in order and has been given 3-6 months on at least 3 different occasions. In the teams, he was known as the pull up king and all around tough guy. Matt's mindset is no different now- Never Give Up! Never Quit! The Only Easy Day was Yesterday!

May 2018 - Retired Navy SEAL Matt Starke has been battling brain cancer for over 22 years since his medical retirement from the Navy as a US Navy SEAL. For most of this time, his family has been doing their best to manage the challenges as they come and doing it on their own.

However, Matt's condition took a devastating turn for the worse when he suffered a bout of pneumonia that placed him in the hospital for eight days in July 2018. He now requires 24/7 care. His needs are extensive and it seems that the list grows by the minute. Please help us, help this amazing family.


All donations made to the Navy SEALs Fund are tax-deductible.

**If you would like to send your donation as a check, please note the funds are to support Matt Starke and mail to:
Navy SEALs Fund
PO Box 89
Mason OH 45040

With Sincere Gratitude from the Starke family and the Navy SEALs Fund – Brotherhood Beyond Battlefield®.

Questions can be directed to: