Saturday, September 6, 2008

The Reality of Cancer

Here is the reality of cancer. Cole Ruotsala is a young man fighting cancer. His parents have had their lives turned upside down as they have questioned, studied, listened, prayed, fought, prayed, and waited. Yesterday his parents were ushered into a foom full of doctors, and were told a decision needed to be made. There are three "options".

  • Continue chemotherapy, knowing the doctors opinion that this will lead to systematic organ failure and death.
  • Put the chemotherapy on hold, knowing that the current speed of the cancer growth will likely end Cole's life within two weeks.
  • Remove Cole's breathing tube, knowing this will likely bring death within minutes.
What would you do? What would you decide for your child? Around the country these "options" are presented on a regular basis. This is reality. There is a cure. We must find it.

Please do me a favor. Go to your child. Hold their hands and look them in the eyes. Then imagin being faced with the same options. Then hug them, kiss them, and tell them you love them. Then join the fight.

Here is Cole.

Stefan Tarapchak has been a constant supporter in Tyler's fight. He has supported Tyler even through the worst times in his own fight with cancer. Stef still has a long road ahead, but he continues to refuse to lose. He is better and stronger than cancer. There is a cure. We just need to find it.

"I have cancer, but cancer does not have me.
--Eric Shanteau, 2008 U.S. Olympic Swimmer

Cynthia Martin has been a friend and business associate for 15 years. She is the one who kept pushing us to get to MD Anderson Cancer Center (one of our best decisions). Through Tyler's fight, Cynthia has keep in constant contact with his progress. Earlier this week, Cynthia lost her 5 year battle with lung cancer. She never smoked a day in her life. There is a cure. We just need to find it.

"What cancer does is, it forces you to focus, to prioritize, and you learn what's important. I don't sweat the small stuff. If it weren't for the downside, everyone would want to have it. But there is a down side."
--Gilda Radner, weeks before losing her battle with ovarian cancer.

STAND UP FOR CANCER: For the first time ever, all three networks joined together to bring awareness to cancer. The bottom line: There is a cure, but it will take a lot more money to find it.
Initially childhood cancer was not going to be part of the show. But through the efforts of many, including A.J.'s Cure Childhood Cancer petition, our kids were added to the show. The petition is now 14,200 strong. If you have not signed, here it is
There is a cure. We just need to find it.

I was happy to see the mention of kids on the show. I was also very happy to hear them bring attention to the reality that there have been absolutely no improvements in teenage and young adult cancers in over 30 years. I hope they raised a lot of money for research funding. But I also know less than 3% of cancer funding is given toward childhood cancers. There is a cure. We just need to find it.

If you think there should be more awareness in the media for pediatric cancer month, then contact them (what else would you do?).

ABC at
ABC local at
CBS at
CBS local at
NBC at
NBC local at
CNN at
FOX at

Team in Training Update: 299 miles run, 179 miles to go. My longest run to date, 16 miles, is tomorrow at 8AM.

1 comment:

Cassie M. said...

Tyler, you have a very touching page. I am currently an MSU Bozeman nursing student looking to find someone I can get information about and write a paper, make a care plan, and give an oral presentation about. I think you are very knowledgable and was wondering if I could use you?

If so please contact me through my e-mail (

THANK YOU!!!! =)