“I haven’t met anybody who can relate to me on that level before Matt, even though he’s, like, 28,” Gomez said. “I don’t think Matt understands how significant his visits are to some of the younger patients. … It’s something that sticks with them because having somebody who understands and who’s come back and who’s successful and who’s on the other side of it is really amazing.”

When he was Gomez’s age, Lampson survived IVB Hodgkin’s lymphoma — the latest stage for the disease — to eventually become a pro soccer player in his home state of Ohio. That same year, when he realized he wasn’t doing enough to give back, he became a uniquely devoted philanthropist, creating his own foundation dedicated to helping young cancer patients.

Impressive for a once-cynical teenager, who says with a straight face he doesn’t “like a lot of people,” even though people as close to him as his mother see that as “a crock.’’.