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Changing Lives After His Lifetime

Matt Vogel

Matthew Vogel, left, Founder of the Matthew Vogel Memorial Fund for Cranial Base Research, with his grandmother, Alice Lyon, and brother, Michael Vogel.

Though Matt Vogel was treated at the University of Michigan for just a little while, a part of him continues to live on—making an impact at U-M (and on others) for generations to come.

Matt lost his battle with sinonasal undifferentiated cancer, or SNUC, in 1997. This rare skull-base tumor came (at the time) with a poor prognosis. Matt's final wish was to provide hope to others like him, others who will get the difficult news that they have SNUC.

"When I learned that this was what he wanted done, I thought it was about the most generous thing I'd heard in my entire life," recalls Lawrence J. Marentette, M.D., Matt's surgeon and the director of U-M's Cranial Base Program.

Not only did Matt make sure that samples of his own tissue were saved for future research, he asked that the money he had saved for college—bolstered by donations from his family and his many, many friends—be used to establish a fund in the U-M Medical School. The goal of this fund: to facilitate research into SNUC and other rare cancers.

Two decades after Matt's passing, the Matthew Vogel Memorial Fund is revolutionizing SNUC research and giving physicians reason to hope for, and anticipate an end to, cranial base tumors.

Over the years, Matt's family and friends have supported the research fund, and now friends of U-M's Cranial Base Program are joining them. Matt's family hopes that the fund will continue to grow and provide the support necessary to advance research into SNUC and other rare skull-base cancers.

The research being done at the University of Michigan changes lives. To learn how you, too, can make a lasting impact at U-M, contact the Office of Planned Giving at or (734) 615-2022.

Matt's Impact

Until six years ago, the five-year survival rate for SNUC was dismal. Today, thanks to research leading to improved treatments made possible by people like Matt, patients diagnosed with SNUC have more hope. In fact, in the last six years, Dr. Marentette has treated eight patients with the disease.
Out of that eight, seven are alive today and free of the disease!

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