Matt and Kent Damon in 2007
Cambridge native Matt Damon
flew home to Boston Wednesday night to extend a personal thank you to doctors at Massachusetts General Hospital for treating his father, Kent, who is currently in remission from the rare blood disease multiple myeloma.
"My family is so grateful for the care you've given us,” Damon told the doctors, nurses and researchers honored at the hospital's One Hundred Celebration at the Westin Hotel. "It's deeply humbling to see how many people here are committing their lives to helping others."
"We've lost some close personal friends to cancer in recent years, but I never thought it would happen to my dad, the marathon runner," said Damon, 40, who attended the fundraiser with his father, his wife, Luciana, his stepmother, Celeste, and Bourne Identity
co-star Chris Cooper. "It sucked.”
Earlier in the evening, Damon’s dad playfully ribbed his Oscar-winning son for his overnight success in Hollywood.
"We try not to take this celebrity deal too seriously," said Kent Damon, who recalled his shock at looking at the newspaper in 1997 and seeing his son's Academy Award nomination for Good Will Hunting
alongside Hollywood veterans.
"There was a picture of Robert Duvall, Peter Fonda, and Dustin Hoffman – then there was a picture of my 27-year-old son. He didn’t belong there with all these seasoned actors!"
The actor's father also drew laughs from the crowd of 850 when he recalled the time Matt was invited to participate in the Major League Baseball All-Star Game in 1999 at Boston's Fenway Park.
"Ted Williams was there, Pedro Martinez, some of the best players who ever played the game," he says. "And then there was Matt, as the celebrity batter."
Joking aside, Kent praised Matt for being a good husband and father to his four daughters
, and for being a great son.
"He's all you could ever for ask for in a son," Kent told the crowd. "It's been a wonderful ride being his dad."