I want to create a legacy that gives back. My boys weren't able to meet their grandfather, Pete, but they will learn about him and everything he did to give back to the community. They'll also know that their dad is doing what he can to make the world a better place, even if it's just a small gesture. This organization is something that they'll be able to continue on with as well, until this terrible disease is cured.
Matt Dimmer founded The Extra Mile during a personal experience he shared with his late father. Just after relocating to LA, his dad (living in Michigan) was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer stage 4. Matt began traveling back and forth to see him, at least once a month. This went on for seven months, and during this time, there was plenty of time spent alone on airplanes reflecting on life.
One Sunday after returning home from a weekend with his dad, he and his wife were sitting in their backyard when he had an idea. Did anything out there exist that allowed frequent flyer miles to be donated to those less fortunate who may be in a similar situation? Without the same means, was everyone able to have the intimate conversations that he was having with his father? Would they, at best, only be able to afford to attend the funeral from out of town?
After posting the idea on his social networks, the support came pouring in. It didn’t exist, and there were clearly others that had experienced what he was going through. It was then that he knew he needed to fill that void. Matt was able to show his dad the early beginnings of the organization on one of his last trips home and legally added his father’s initials to the name of the non-profit. Currently, The Extra Mile seeks to collect unused frequent flyer miles, as well as monetary donations, either of which is then donated to people in need of traveling to visit loved ones terminally ill with cancer.
Matt is a Creative Director currently living in Chicago with his wife and twin boys. He runs the organization by himself as a passion project, but hopes to accumulate volunteers and corporate partners in the future.