When Matt Gregory died Feb. 23, 1999, after a lifelong battle with cerebral palsy, Bryan Gregory lost his best friend. Ten years later, Bryan hasn’t forgotten the valuable lessons he learned from his older brother. He never will—thanks in part to a fresh reminder of Matt that he carries close to his heart.
“Matt taught me so much about life,” Bryan said. “With all the daily struggles he had to go through, he never complained once. He was always happy, and I wouldn’t trade the time I had with him for anything.”

Matt, the first of Mike and Vicki Gregory’s three children, wasn’t expected to live when he was born. His brain was deprived of oxygen the first hour of his life. Yet, Matt beat the odds for 14 years. Matt would have turned 24 on July 5. Bryan turned 18 on Aug. 15. The next day, Bryan got a tattoo in Matt’s memory on his chest. Next to two hands folded in prayer reads an inscription:

“Matthew—Someday we will meet again, But until then all I can do is try and make you proud!”

Bryan wrote the passage when he was younger. With his parents’ blessing, he decided to have it made into a tattoo when he turned 18. And by the sounds of it, Bryan is making good on his efforts to keep his big brother proud.
Bryan will leave Edgerton High as one of the most prolific athletes in school history.

He is the single-season and career passing leader in football, and he likely will end a storied basketball career as one of the top three scorers in school history. The 6-foot-4, 185-pound senior gave up baseball after his freshman year, but he may go out this year and could help solidify a strong team that lost only three starters from a year ago.

But Bryan would trade all the accolades and press clippings to spend just a little more time with his brother.

“He was basically my best friend growing up. We did everything together. Whether it was sitting around watching TV, or going to games, we were always together. He couldn’t talk back to us, but we knew he understood us, and he could communicate with us in other ways. A lot of it was through hand gestures.”

Although Bryan isn’t sure about his plans for next year and beyond, basketball remains a high priority. He’s passionate about the sport, has played at high levels, and has offers to play at the college level, including several from schools in the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. Whatever path Bryan chooses, though, brother Matt will be with him every step of the way.