2012 Matthew Wiederkehr Leadership Award - Jason Selman


I have the good fortune to be able to call Matt Wiederkehr one of my very close friends. We first met over 20 years ago In Aspen CO where I was living and Matt was visiting mutual friends. After I moved back to NY, those same mutual friends including childhood friends Randy Reiff and Benjy Seckler were the catalyst to our friendship growing stronger. It was really something to see the amazing bond this crew had. As the years flew by our group began to expand with wives and then children, things were pretty good….. When I found out about Matt’s diagnosis I was crushed. But not Matt, his attitude was unbelievable. He was the samehappy and smiling guy all the time. It was truly amazing. Shortly thereafter we found out about Benjy’s son Charley being diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD). Having no idea what Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy was, I quickly learned that it was a fatal genetic disorder and there was no cure. I was crushed again.

I don’t have any children of my own currently but I get to be Uncle Jason to all my friends’ kids so I feel like I have a ton of nieces and nephews. That is obviously how I feel about the Seckler’s kids including of course Charley. I especially look forward to the summers when they come out to the Hamptons and stay with Randy. One of my favorite things to do is throw a baseball with Charley. He is an amazing athlete and for me that’s a special way to bond. It also serves as a huge motivator to find a cure for this disease.

Knowing that Matty started Matt’s Promise in the midst of his own battle exemplifies all that one can strive to be. Watching how hard Benjy and Tracey fight for Charley and all the other kids with DMD and seeing how hard Randy works to make Matt’s promise a huge part of that is unbelievably humbling and inspirational. So yes, for me, this is personal. It’s a no-brainer. I want to do everything I can to help. I want to keep Matt’s promise!