Kai Matthews was only 19 years old when he suddenly and tragically passed away from meningitis B (MenB) on June 1, 2021. MenB is a very serious bacterial infection. It is the most common and deadly strain of meningitis and can be fatal within 24 to 48 hours after the onset of symptoms. Kai's fight against his MenB infection was only 30 hours.
Kai loved snowboarding, playing soccer and working out at the gym. He enjoyed being active and was devoted to his physical fitness. It was a passion for him. In fact, he had just finished his first year of Kinesiology (the study of human movement and its role in our lives) at Acadia University in April 2021.
Kai had a calm and gentle demeanour and drew everyone towards him. He left an ever-lasting mark on everyone who had the pleasure of knowing him.
~Norrie Matthews, Kai's dad
To honour Kai’s memory, his parents, Kari and Norrie, and sister, Vea, have directed their grief to make a difference for others. They have established the IWK BforKai Trust with the IWK Foundation to raise funds in support of support MenB research, awareness, and education and training programs.
By increasing awareness of MenB and encouraging more youth and families to learn more about MenB vaccines, the Matthews family hopes others won’t have to experience an unimaginable and tragic loss as they have. On the community response to the BforKai initiative, Norrie says, “It’s been amazing. It’s been much, much more than we could ever imagine.” And on Kai, Norrie shares, “Kai had a calm and gentle demeanour and drew everyone towards him. He left an ever-lasting mark on everyone who had the pleasure of knowing him.”
Please show your support by donating to the IWK BforKai Trust. Help raise awareness and improve education around MenB.
Watch Kai's Story
Permission to use this video was granted by Meningitis Foundation Canada, which reserves all rights.