- When Tyler came home between chemo treatments, his classmates surrounded our home, screaming "FIGHT TO WIN!"
- During the Sweetheart Dance, the school unanimously decided to eliminate corsages. Instead they gave the money to Tyler's fund, and worn Tyler's FIGHT TO WIN wristbands. The students told me, "Flowers die, and we decided to spend our money on life...so it is going to Tyler".
- The high school hockey team dedicated a championship game to Tyler, and presented Tyler with the winning puck. as a fund raiser they raffled off a jersey signed by the Blue Jackets. The winner of the raffle handed back the jersey, saying "Give it to Tyler".
- Hundreds came out to support Tyler at Laps for Love. Jim Tressel sent an autographed football signed by the team to be auctioned. the winner of the football also handed it back to me, saying, "Give it to Tyler".
- Kids asked for gifts to Tyler in lieu of birthday presents. There were basketball, softball, baseball, and dodge ball tournaments.
- And I will never forget the day a caravan of kids with shaved heads came to the hospital to shave Tyler's head. Forever embedded in my heart is the call I received, "We are here because this is our responsibility. We will never allow cancer to have the privilege of taking Tyler's hair. He is our friend, and cancer gets nothing from our friend."
Friday, June 11, 2010
Tyler graduated from High School! On time, with his classmates. As they said during the graduation speech, Tyler's FIGHT TO WIN spirit was the defining message of the class of 2010.
Doctors said this day would not happen. They said the time he lost from school, and the volume of chemo pumped into his body, would make it impossible for him to graduate on time. They actually said it would take a year or two before he would be able to attend classes full time.
But as with everything else involving cancer, Tyler proved them all wrong. He beat cancer, returned to school, returned to sports, caught up with his class, and still nailed the grades and ACT scores to get accepted into The Ohio State University.
His class asked me to speak at the high school Baccalaureate ceremony. I meant every word when I said, "It is an amazing thing to realized your greatest hero and inspiration in life is your own son." This is Tyler's day, and he has earned it.
And as inspirational as Tyler's victory has been, it must be remembered that it was not done alone.
So as we mention our friends still in the battle, please remember that this battle can not be won alone. Please remember our friends. The victory is not yet won.