So I’ve added another sweet little boy to my heart. It truly is amazing how much love a heart can hold. I posted about Ty the other day. His mom wants everyone to know that he turned 5 yesterday. My younger daughter is five, so I know that five is supposed to be an age of wonder and incessant questions and laughter and kindergarten and playgrounds and running and jumping and playing and yelling and getting dirty and having fun all he time.
But it’s not like that for Ty. Instead of celebrating his monumental fifth birthday like a normal five-year-old–or even the way he spent his 3rd and 4th birthdays–with a horrible cancer but still able to smile, laugh, play, and have fun–Ty had a rough day. His parents had originally planned to have a big carnival for his birthday. But his cancer has other ideas, as his mother, Cindy, reveals: “This disgusting beast he is battling showed little mercy today. Ty was tired, he was sick, he was swollen, he was sweating profusely and he was uncomfortable. Even the magician act was cut a bit short because Ty started throwing up and it was really bad. I just knew something was wrong during the whole magic show because he didn’t look right. Poor kid, I didn’t realize how strong he was being… just trying so hard not to get sick. He made it just until the very end and he couldn’t hold it back any longer. It broke my heart.”
How can anyone read her words and think this is okay? If you’re blessed to have a healthy child, picture his or her last birthday. Could she eat cake? Play with her friends and family? Laugh and throw balloons around? Blow out the candles and eat cake? Open presents and squeal with excitement at all the cool gifts she got?
Was she lying on a couch because she’s paralyzed by a brain tumor? That thought sure put an abrupt halt to the happy thoughts that are supposed to surround child’s 5th birthday, doesn’t it?
Being the fighter he is, Ty managed a smile, albeit weak, receiving what has to be the biggest gummy bear ever. But otherwise, cancer took away what should have been an amazing day for Ty and his family. And as I’ve said before, he is one of many.
Ty Louis Campbell. Isabella Joanne Santos. Ronan Sean Thompson. Jack Thomas Bartosz. Talia Joy Castellano. These are real children with real cancer. Three have died. Two are fighting with all they’ve got. Thousands of others have died or are fighting with them.
It has to stop.
Cindy has asked that to celebrate Ty’s birthday, we do the following:
Instead of presents, we ask that you do the following for Ty on his birthday:
- Talk about Ty. Share his story. Tell the world that it is his birthday. That HE DID IT AGAIN!
- Give your kids a piggy back ride today and when they ask “one more time!” – give them another one
- Let them play with play-doh, glitter, fingerpaint and all things messy
- Let your kids have a bubble bath and give them “five more minutes” to play in them
- Light a candle for Ty tonight
- Pray for his full physical recovery. If you are not the praying type, please send positive thoughts for Ty’s healing
- Make a donation to the Ty Louis Campbell Foundation (a 501(c)(3) dedicated to funding pediatric cancer research) or support my friends who are running the upcoming 10K on Ty’s behalf in two weeks by donating to https://rally.org/superty
Thank you to Cindy Campbell, who, like Maya Thompson reminds me every day to appreciate EVERY MOMENT with my children and not to take a single second with them for granted. And for being brave enough to share what’s in their hearts with the world in the name of their beautiful children, who are facing this awful fucking evil bastard that is cancer.
If you’re reading this, please share Ty’s story, in honor of his 5th birthday. And of you can, please give to childhood cancer research on his behalf.
And please pray for him and for his family as they deal with this horrifying nightmare for yet another day.