Celebrating the Life of Ty
Ty had been having trouble sleeping, but his doctors assured his parents that it was likely just a phase that would pass – but unfortunately, it didn’t pass. Ty began to show physical signs of pain that seemed to be centered around his head. After many sleepless nights and shed tears, Ty’s mother, Cindy, took her son to the E.R., where an MRI was performed. To their shock and sadness, a mass was discovered at the base of Ty’s skull, pressing against his brainstem and causing his pain. Ty was soon diagnosed with a rhabdoid tumor, a rare and aggressive cancer that specifically develops in young children.
Shortly after the devastating diagnosis, Ty’s speech started to slur, and his motor skills declined. The various cancer treatments and surgeries Ty endured severely compromised his quality of life, but his spirit remained unbreakable, and his smile never faded.
“Ty always found a way to adapt to what he lost,” Cindy says. “When he could no longer run after his little brother, he scooted after him on the floor. When he could no longer play with his toys, he looked at them through toy catalogues.” When asked what he wanted to do when he got better, Ty’s response was, “to jump in muddy puddles.”
Ty fought courageously for two years, but on October 17, 2012, he passed away in his home. Ty was 5 years old.
To honor Ty’s memory, Cindy created The Muddy Puddles Project as a love letter to encourage parents to celebrate children, childhood and the simple things in life that adults tend to no longer appreciate. The Muddy Puddles Project helps remind parents to stop sweating the small stuff and focus on what truly matters, but it also serves to raise awareness and funds for the Ty Louis Campbell (TLC) Foundation in support of childhood cancer research.
“There are 13,500 kids diagnosed with cancer, every single year, and these kids are living something that they shouldn’t be living,” Cindy says. “So, in honor of them, let your kids throw glitter in the air. Let them jump in muddy puddles. Just cherish every moment, because they’re going to grow up before you know it.”
• Targeted treatment for cancer.
• Fighting childhood cancer.
• The Doctors visit St. Jude's Children's Hospital.