As a former Sachem student, Matthew "Dezy" DiStefano is proud to now be a teacher in the same district that he was brought up in. While attending Sachem, Dezy excelled in athletics as he was a varsity athlete on both the Volleyball and Basketball teams. He led both teams to county championships and was named Suffolk County "Player of the Year" in two consecutive years for volleyball.
Dezy continued his athletic excellence at the College of Mount Saint Vincent, where he starred for the Men's Volleyball Team all four year he was there. He was named Team MVP from 1997 to 2000, first team All-Conference three times, NEVCA Tournament MVP in 1998, was inducted to the NEVCA Hall of Fame in 2011 and had his number 2 jersey retired by the college back in 2004.
Dezy was inducted into the Sachem High School Athletics Hall of Fame in 2017, the College of Mount Saint Vincent Athletics Hall of fame in 2018, and will soon be inducted to the Suffolk County Sports Hall of Fame in May 2021.
In February 2018, Dezy was diagnosed with Stage 4 Kidney Cancer. Since that time, he dedicated himself to conquering the disease, while at the same time, creating the DezyStrong Foundation to help support others affected by cancer. Learn more about his diagnosis and motivation for launching the DezyStrong Foundation in the short documentary below.
Dezy passed away in January 2020, but his message lives on. In the face of his own mortality, he taught us how to live. Every day is a great day. Every day is a day we get to...
Watch the video below for an inspiring way to look at how to approach life.