Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Celebration of Excellence

Tyler was able to attend the Celebration of Excellence last night at Jerome High School. What a wonderful event. After 5 1/2 months, Tyler is starting to be able to be out in public. He attended the Jerome track meet a couple of weeks ago, but then became too ill to go to the Dodge Ball Tournament he was hoping to attend.

Last night's Celebration of Excellence was the second time he has been out...his first steps in his high school in 6 months. Tyler's principal, Ms. Sankey, has nominated Tyler. He walked onto the stage to a standing ovation. This school and this community has provided so much support. I was so happy that Tyler could see it first hand. Tyler could not stay for the entire ceremony (his blood counts are beginning to drop again), but the 30 minutes we were there was worth it all. As Tyler left, Ms. Sankey led the audience in a "Fight to Win!" cheer.

Tyler is very appreciative, but is also a little embarrassed by all the attention. He does not know what he has done to deserve it all. I will tell you what I think. It is because he has never quit. He has never altered in his confidence that he will win this fight. And now we are winning. We have a ways to go, but all the victories have been Tyler's. It is true there have been many difficult times. There has been anger and frustration. But never has there been a "why me?" Tyler has continued to fight on. He considers himself lucky as he sees the other kids fighting their cancers. He shares his gifts, and tries to share the attention.

Tyler's brothers also deserve a lot of credit. They have been very understanding and flexible through this entire process. Brandon, Travis, and Erik continue to do great in their school work and other activities. Brandon continues to get honor roll grades at OSU, and Travis has a 4.5 grade point average. Tonight Erik graduated from the siblings program at Children's Hospital. We have four wonderful boys. Kathy, the ultimate nurturer, holds it all together.

The paper wrote a great story on the Dodge Ball Tournament that Dublin Schools did to support Tyler. It was the student's idea and their efforts that pulled the event together. An unbelievable event. One of our greatest blessings is that we live in this community that has been so supportive. You can read the story at

Tomorrow Tyler will likely need some more transfusions. Friday we fly out for two days at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute at Harvard's Boston Children's Hospital. Then Tuesday we have two days at The MD Anderson Cancer Center at the University of Texas. Please keep Tyler in your prayers. They will not be easy on him.


Nurse Jodi P said...

Hello Tyler and Family! I just wanted to say hello since I hadn't seen you for a while and I wanted to catch up on all the exciting things that are always happening in your life! I got a call a few weeks ago that I was assigned to you for the next day, but when I got there someone had changed the assignments. I was sad because I really enjoy hanging out with you guys, and I'd even put on my "fight to win" shirt that morning!

I have to admit, it takes a lot, but your post today really "got me". Congratulations on your award Tyler! I got a little choked up remembering that I missed my C.O.E. awards because I was too sick from treatment and in the hospital, but I remember the story that my dad was there and accepted it in my honor. I missed seeing my own standing ovation, but it makes me happy to read that you and your family have that same support. I know how much of a difference it really makes while beating this thing. You deserve it Tyler! Keep fighting hard. My prayers are always with you and your family!!

Anonymous said...

Good Luck in Boston and in Texas. We will pray for your safe travels and for Tyler to feel well during the trip. We also pray for the medical staff to give you the best treatment options available. Tyler, you are one tough kid and you deserve all of the attention and awards. You are an inspiration to us and so many others. Fight To Win!!!!

Jeff, Rhonda, Julia, Kailee & Colin Hoffman

Anonymous said...

Good Luck in the coming week. May it be a successful road trip and know that we're all there with you in thought and prayer.

The Belke Family

Anonymous said...

We will be praying for you guys as you travel and decide what steps to take next. Fight to Win!