When Matthew Murchie was just 7 years old his father suddenly passed away. Matthew was dealing with missing his father and not having a male role model in his life so his mom Olena applied for a Big Brother for her son. Matthew was fairly shy and not too sure about what having a Big Brother would be like. He definitely didn’t know that his Big Brother Darren Sketchley would end up being his best friend growing up and still is today – 25 years later!
Darren himself was only 18 years old when he applied to be a Big Brother and he remembers clearly the intense two hour interview plus all of the other screening that Big Brothers of Peel did with him. It seemed like a grueling process at the time but he understood the importance of making sure the agency was selecting the best volunteers possible. When Darren looks back at when he initially was matched with Matthew he fondly remembers how excited Matthew would be. Matthew would be ready sometimes an hour before Darren was scheduled to pick him up in anticipation of the fun they were going to have. They usually got together every week or sometimes every second week and spent most of their time together going to the movies, playing or watching sports and going to agency planned events. It wasn’t just the fun activities that made their time together something to look forward to, before long they became best friends and developed an incredible bond. Matthew sums up his feelings for Darren saying, “Darren means the world to me. He has given me everything and has expected nothing in return. He is my mentor, my hero, my brother. He has been a stable part of my life, someone I always know that I can turn to for advice who I can count on. I couldn’t imagine my life without Darren and I credit much of who I am today to his guidance and support.”