Thursday, December 6, 2012

Update and a bunch of "asks"

I've noticed so many new things that Gavin does around the house that used to be "Ty's things."  For example, he is dancing sometimes.  Gavin NEVER EVER danced.  And, when he does shake his booty a little bit he tends to lift his elbows and dip his head in a way that I have only seen one other person do it... Ty, of course.  It is so strange to see so much of Ty in Gavin all of a sudden.  They are two very different little boys, don't get me wrong, but just like Gavin adopted a love for superheroes as Ty was leaving this world, he has also taken on some of his physical traits and funny movements. I'm grateful for that.

The music in the car kills me.  I tried to tell Gavin that he can't watch a DVD during our 10-minute drive into school because it's ridiculous.  Stubborn boy instead insists that we listen to his kids music.  He wants to hear the CDs that I used to play for Ty religiously.  Sometimes I am happy to play some of Ty's favorites for him "Listen Gavin... this one gets really fast and silly! Ty used to LOVE IT when I sing it like this?" but other times I can barely stay on the road when the memories come flooding in.  On our way to school today I was so sad listening to the CD and then a slow song came on... "twinkle twinkle little star."  I immediately heard Ty's little voice singing from the back seat and at that exact moment, a gold leaf fluttered right before my face on the other side of the windsheild.  I often tell Ty "I see you in every star that winks at me, in every falling leaf before me."  He is taking care of me, isn't he?  I hope he isn't burdened by the need to watch out for me.  I just want him to enjoy and have fun, I don't ever want to imagine a look of worry on that precious face ever again. 

So everything is okay.  We are doing as good as could be expected.  Lou and I take turns crying, but it's always at night and it's never debilitating.  WE are very focused with work and with advocating for Ty's cause.  I hope to have a radio interview with Bloomberg next week and a few other exciting things in the works.  Which brings me to my "asks":

First, if you Twitter, can you please tweet for Ty?  Follow us @SuperTyCampbell and start tweeting to #Gaplove and #Superty.  The Gap is posting photos on their Times Square billboard and I want to get Ty up there.  The photo has to include a picture of an adult, though, so here is the "tweet" i created with our photo attached as a bitly.  Please tweet and retweet all you want :)  Thank you.  I'll post the photo of the billboard if we ever make it up there.  I just think it would be a cool way to honor Ty and potentially promote his story! Even if it only lasts 5 seconds :)

New pic w/mom. Love doesn't get bigger than this! , a 5yo cancer warrior whose legacy lives on.

My next ask is a big one.  It involves the Muddy Puddles Project. 
Let your kids jump in muddy puddles whenever they want.  Let them get wild with finger paints and glitter.  Soon they'll be all grown up and see the dirty clothes and wet shoes as nothing but a nuisance.  It's beautiful that children can find such joy in the simple things that we no longer appreciate as adults.

What is The Muddy Puddles Project?
The Muddy Puddles Project is a celebration of children and childhood.  It is a way of life.  A shift toward letting go of the everyday stress of being a grownup, and finding the fun in all things silly and ridiculous.  It embodies the act of kids being kids in honor of those who can’t. 
The Muddy Puddles Project was inspired by five-year old Ty Campbell.  A magnetic little boy who battled cancer for more than half his young life.  The treatment that he endured severely compromised his quality of life, just as it does for the majority of the brave children fighting cancer every day.  But it never stole his smile or dampened his spirit. 
When Ty lost his ability to walk, he found joy chasing his brother around the house by scooting across the floor on his behind.   When he lost the ability to manipulate his toys, he enjoyed looking through toy catalogs as his friends and family turned the pages for him.  When he could no longer eat some of his favorite foods, he found happiness in the simple sweetness from his favorite blue lollipops.  When he was stuck in the hospital for months on end, he loved to get pushed around in his wheelchair and get outside for a breath of fresh air – or watch the fish in the fish tank.  He never stopped smiling, even as more and more of his childhood was taken away from him. 

Ty often talked about jumping in muddy puddles.  It was the thing he wanted to do most when he got better.  That idea alone, the joy that might be found in the simple act of jumping in a muddy puddle, is a perfect demonstration of how incredibly beautiful childhood can be.  What it is supposed to be all about.  
Ty died on October 17, 2012 and he is finally free to jump in muddy puddles, ride his bike in the rain, dance on the rooftop, slide down rainbows and bounce among the clouds.
How can you be part of the project?
Simple.  Share your stories of how Ty has inspired you to have fun.  Send in your photos of your children getting totally messy and acting silly.  Give them piggy back rides to bed and let them have “one more story” before going to sleep.  If they want to use finger paints instead of crayons – let them.  So many of you have already done this around the time of Ty's passing and it was the greatest gift you could have given me. 

Now I am asking you to resend those photos and those stories with your permission to republish them on our Muddy Puddles website and present some of them in a book form as a sort of "Chicken Soup for the Soul" collection of kids celebrating being kids in honor of those who can't. 

As a minimum, we will collect your stories and display them on the Muddy Puddles website which is well underway.  We consider this celebration of childhood as a therapeutic reprieve for parents, and an opportunity for our kids to have more fun while they still appreciate what that means. 
PLEASE EMAIL OR RESEND TO A NEW EMAIL ADDESS SPECIFIC TO THIS REQUEST:  If you don't want me using your kids names, just say so,  But please don't be shy in sharing the truth behind the photos and incorporating Ty's influence wherever possible.  We really hope to turn this collection into something tangible some day. 

The Muddy Puddles Project “MESS DAY”
The muddy puddles project “MESS DAY” is an event where kids can get downright messy.  We will have mud for jumping and wrestling.  We will have food fights and whipped cream pie tosses.   There will be glitter absolutely everywhere and kids will be encouraged to toss water balloons.  Let’s burst open some watermelons with a kid-friendly sledgehammer!! Once they are good and messy, we will hose them off with a fire hose. 
The format is similar to a carnival, with various tented areas, but instead of rides there will be a wide range of messy activities that all children are encouraged to participate in. 
I will need a lot of volunteers to help pull this one off.  Anyone available to come to the office in Carmel one day a week to focus only on the muddy puddles event?  If so, email me at  I am also recruiting a team who isn't afraid to get their hands dirty :)  Thank you all so much.  This is going to be such a fun event. 

Can't wait to get our websites finalized so I can show you all what we have been up to all this time!!!


  1. Love the idea of the muddy puddle project and mess day!! Kids having fun is a beautiful way of remembering Ty!!!

  2. WOW Cindy, no one could have come up with a better idea! i think the muddy puddles project is great for kids.
    Ty would have LOVED it, im 100% sure that he is helping you and is looking out for you, Lou and Gavin. :)
    rest in peace Ty, forever in our hearts

  3. Having fun and celebrating life is about the most fantastic way possible to remember SuperTy!
    The Muddy Puddles Project is going to be amazing! I wish I wasn't on the other side of the world so I could join in and make a huge loving mess with you all!

    Also love reading that Gavin is finding Ty in his life too! I absolutely believe Ty is reaching out and giving his brother his love.

    Every photo of Gavin is darling too - especially when he's in a box or when he's in a bag or just simply being goofy around Santa.

    1. maybe you can have your own muddy puddles fundraiser where ever you are?? and donate all the money to!

  4. I am all in!!! I will email you today. I have lots of spare time and would love to help you!! God bless you all. I love you and Ty very much and think of you all the time.

    Millbrook, NY

  5. Wow, what a great idea! I can't wait to see photos of the Messy Day... Little kids and big kids alike will have a ball. I too wish we were close by to come and join the fun. Maybe one day it will catch on and become a world wide celebration. How good would that be? You just never know...

    As for Gavin doing things out of character, all I can say is "love works in mysterious ways". Our love ones will always find a way to let us know they are still around... Just like that leaf falling onto your windscreen at that particular moment. I believe Ty will always be with you no matter what... And when your time comes he will be ready to run and jump straight back into your arms...

    God bless you Cindy. I can't wait to see the new

  6. I am a mother of three and often times get stressed. You and Ty have changed my life. I stop many times throughout my day and think.....many of my actions and thoughts are now changed in honor and in memory of Ty. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I LOVE the Muddy Puddles Project!...and the Messy Day...maybe it can become a multi-city event:)

    Love from Cleveland!

  7. Love the Muddy Puddles Project...Let us know when it is...very tempted to fly the family across the country to go.

  8. What an amazing project! How exciting!

  9. This is so awesome!!!! I can't wait to have my daughter play in some muddy puddles and take pics to document it all! I will also tweet for you...just started doing this so I am not great at it, but I will try :)

    Cindy, you and Lou are an inspiration to everyone - Ty's story has changed my life and the way I am a parent. Thank you so much. I love the stories of Gavin taking on Ty characteristics...that is so heartwarming. Ty is everywhere and I am so glad you are seeing his signs for you.


  10. I don't think you burden Ty at all. That's why he's around at some times, but not at others. When you need him most, he is right there for you, just as you were for him. And he is happy to take care of you! The rest of the time, he is enjoying his friends and doing all the "kid things" that he couldn't wait to do. When Gavin kissed your neck, that was Ty saying thank you to you for putting your effort into Christmas, even though it was so difficult to do.
    I love the "Muddle Puddles Project" and I can't wait to participate in "Mess Day." I've noticed some wonderful things happening, like Macy's donating $1.00 to Make-A-Wish for every stamped letter addressed to "Santa at the North Pole." Also Gymboree and CVS ask you at your time of purchase if you want to make a donation to St. Jude's. Small steps, but progress none the less.
    Also, a very sweet story... I was driving my almost 2 year old to daycare and I was admiring the beautiful glass angel I have hanging from my rearview mirror (really a Christmas ornament, but I like to travel with an angel in my car, and it's too beautiful to display only once a year), as it was swinging back and forth. I pointed it out to my son, and he said, "Ty, Ty!" It made me smile to think of sweet Ty.
    God Bless You, Cindy. You are doing amazing things!

  11. I'll be emailing you. Keep up the amazing work. Hugs from NC.

  12. I shared some on Facebook, but I can't wait to make new ones. I really can't wait to bring my kids to Mess Day, what a clever and awesome way to honor my hero. I miss him, too, Cindy, I miss the happy tears that your writing brought me on his good days, but I think you're doing larger than life work in his name. The world thanks you and joins you.
    Janah Angelou

  13. Wow that is such an awesome idea!!!!! Im so glad I live in westchester and I cannot wait to bring my kids to that day! I am so glad you are feeling Ty by your side. I know he is always with you all in between jumping in muddy puddles and playing with his friends and eating all the candy he wants too! I was shopping yesterday and saw Captain America things all over the mall and thought of Ty as I always do! I never even met that little boy but he has so made an impact on my life as well as so many others! I miss his smile of the day. You are an amazing family!
    ~Lori, Yonkers, NY

  14. Cindy you are amazing, there aren't enough words. May God continue to bless you & Lou & Gavin.

  15. I can't wait to see the website and all you have been working on! So exciting! I know for a fact as soon as my 8 year old hears about Messy Day he will want to start planning one here in Nebraska. I definetly have to recruit some help for that one! :) Thank you for keeping us inspired. You and Lou are fabulous.

    As others have said...Ty is happy to help you smile when you are down. Remember, he knows no saddness now ~ only happiness. He comes to remind you he is with you and loves you and will be with you again. But obviously, you are so special that you are needed here to inspire and lead others.

    Blessings on you, Lou and Gavin. You are always in my thoughts and prayers.

    Much love from Nebraska,

    Linda Baumann

  16. Dear Cindy,Beautiful ,sweet ,smiling Ty IS watching over you all and enjoying every second of it,while playing, running,riding his bike ,getting messy ,etc.He will be with you every minute of every day .Life will go on, of course and that adorable Gavin will give you a million happy moments too,in different ways than Ty. God be with you all on your new projects.... They will be a huge success and help for all. Praying always for Ty and all your family <3

  17. Hi Cindy! What an amazing idea for the Muddy Puddles Project!! I grew up in Carmel (I live right outside of Philly now) and still come up to the area generally once a month. If you need any help with anything, I would love to help you. I am about 3 hours away, but if there is anything I can do electronically, etc. from here I am ready to jump in.

    1. That last name should be O' clue what happened there.

  18. ♥ the idea, I hope to see the Muddy Puddles Project spread like wildfire across the country! Perhaps raising money for childhood cancer, like the Susan G Koman races. It would take an amazing team to pull it off but if anyone can, you and Ty can!

  19. I do believe that Ty is always with you...showing you in different ways that he's dancing thru Gavin, floating on a leaf, in the words of a song, etc....he's always there. I can't wait for the "muddy puddle mess day"....I'll be there with my 6 1/2 yr old. I was showing my mom pic of Ty today and we cried. Its just so sad to think about everything Ty has been thru in his short life here on earth. There isn't a day that goes by where I don't think about him and the amazing things your doing in his honor...and in honor of every "TY" in the world. Prayers always. Betty Warren, Beacon NY.

  20. I thought of you and Ty when I read this poem.

    Missing you at Christmas
    Every day without you,
    since you had to go,
    Is like summer without sunshine,
    and winter without snow.

    I wish that I could talk to you,
    There’s so much I would say,
    Life has changed so very much,
    since you went away.

    I miss the bond between us,
    and I miss your kind support,
    You’re in my mind and in my heart,
    and every Christmas thought.

    I’ll always feel you close to me,
    and though you’re far from sight,
    I’ll search for you among the stars
    that shine on Christmas night.

    I am sure Ty is surrounding you always and so are all of us.

    (((Hugs))) from Michelle in N.H.

  21. Myself and two kids will be doing our part tonight for the Muddy Puddles project! Cant wait to send in pictures! I hope you get a ton of response! Always thinking of you and your family!

  22. I wish I lived closer to help out with the project! I will make the drive though for the actual events!

    I'll make sure to send some pictures when I can. What a great tribute to Ty!

  23. As soon as I can stop the tears, I will pull myself together and share information on the Muddy Puddles Project with everyone I know. This is amazing Cindy. Let this beautiful tribute give you wings.

  24. Hi Cindy,
    You and Lou and Gavin are doing so amazing at honoring Ty. To put on such a beautiful Christmas for Gavin and for Ty is truly inspiring. I know that Ty is watching out for you and trying to comfort you when you need him the most. That is why you found the Keep Fighting bracelet when you really need that push from him. And I am sure it is no burden to the bestest little boy in the world to watch out for and take care of his bestest momma in the world. Ty loves you beyond infinity and will always be guiding you. The Muddy Puddles Project sounds amazing. What a wonderful idea. I wish I lived closer so we could participate but I will definitely submit some photos and stories. Thank you for still sharing Ty and Gavin with us after all you've been through. It would be undertandable if you just wanted to keep him to yourself now, but because you are one of the most unselfish people I know of, you will make changes in Childhood Cancer in honor of Ty.
    Lynne, Massachusetts


  25. Hello,

    Great projects !!

    I will start tweeting on Twitter in honor of & for " SuperTy. "

    My continued thoughts & prayers are with you & your family.

    God Bless.

    - Rob Swan

  26. I LOVE the Muddy Puddles logo with Ty! Absolutely awesome, whoever did it! They got it perfect! God bless you all. We love and miss you sweet, beautiful boy.

    1. Yes, it looks just like Ty. What a wonderful puddle'-wonderful'design!

  27. Love it. Casey and I will get messy. Fyi gap baby has captain america shirts. Made me think of you and Ty.
    Julie and Casey

  28. Are you just doing this messy day in NY or is it possible to have multiple locations? Would LOVE to have one of these here in Knoxville!

    1. Agreed!

      And Nashville too...:)

    2. And st. Paul mn! Julie and casey

  29. Cindy, I'm so glad you are feeling Ty all around you and he is letting you know he is right there with you. I love the muddy puddles project idea and I'm sure Ty is so proud of you and Lou. You are doing great things!

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  32. Sorry for the multiple deletes.
    Whoever did that silohette of Ty for the Muddy Project logo captured some of his unique characteristics especially his hair, his cute smile, his adorable little hands and his joie de vivre. So exciting. Wonderful to feel Ty's presence in these great causes.

  33. What a brilliant, beautiful idea! The Muddy Puddle Project sounds like a terrific way to honor and help kids with cancer. I love the idea of a book of kids being kids for those who aren't able .... that is a great way to raise awareness and money! I have to add finger paints for all the little ones on my shopping list this Christmas and include your website information for their parents! God bless you all and thank you.

  34. I am inlove with Ty more and more evereday. Ty is going to do so many wonderful things. Cindy, Ty is the reason I want to do as much as I possibly can. It would be my honor. Your project idea brought smile on my face although i almost feel like its so unfair that Ty didnt jum in the puddles, he deserved it more than anyone to do that. What an amazing child he is. (i cant bring myself to say was, because he is here now despite his body not being present). I will look up whatever days I have available and would love to help you. I will send emails on that.
    I have to say Cindy, that what you are doing many would and couldnt under your circumstances. I admire you for that. I told beofer and would repeat it again if I meet you I will be star struck from you, Gavin and Lou. Sorry I never met Ty. This is one of the biggest dissapointments i have in my life. I miss you Ty. Your smile lights the world.

  35. Today, I let my little boy stay up way past bedtime. He is allowed to chatter on the phone to his endless relatives (his favourite thing ever) and he is allowed to make a huge mess in the bathroom with the pets. Thank you Ty, for putting things into perspective. I sent yous a mail, too, with the Muddle Puddle.


  36. I read your latest post this morning and then headed out. As I was in the car, with Ty on my mind, this song came on. I actually had to pull over because I couldn't see for the tears. I honestly cannot imagine the pain that you are going through, but in your writing I tend to think that I would feel exactly the way you do. While listening to this song all I could think of was that this would be your wish, to see Ty, to see him smiling just to know he's there. xo

  37. Amazing plans!! I love them all. Today we bought our Christmas Tree - and the first thing my youngest did was run and jump into a muddy puddle. I thought of Ty and said a thanks to him and all the Campbells for making muddy puddles so fun. I did not have as much patience with my oldest's insistence on painting today... I'll do some painting with him tomorrow in honor of Ty.

  38. Amazing plans!! I love them all. Today we bought our Christmas Tree - and the first thing my youngest did was run and jump into a muddy puddle. I thought of Ty and said a thanks to him and all the Campbells for making muddy puddles so fun. I did not have as much patience with my oldest's insistence on painting today... I'll do some painting with him tomorrow in honor of Ty.

  39. I love the thought of a "Mess Day". I am in the midwest so my ability to come volunteer is limited. But what if I could find enough people to hold a "Mess Day" in my area? I love the idea of it, and the message it sends to parents. It is something we forget much too often, to just let kids be kids.

  40. What an exciting, fabulous and inspiring idea! Love it! Thinking of you always in Fishkill.

  41. Hi Cindy, I came across this adorable video online today & was trying to send it to the puddymuddle email address & kept getting an erro message. Here's the web address for the video. Thanks, Cindy Portland OR

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