Friday, August 16, 2013

The Little Fighter

When Ty first got diagnosed with cancer, he was 2 years, 10 months old.  We adopted phrases around "fighting" and nicknamed him "the little fighter."  This name still rings true to Ty.  He continues to inspire others to fight on, just as he did. 

Back then we dreamed of triumph against the evil monster that grew inside him for no good reason at all.  We thought we would win.  Today Lou and I still dream of triumph.  A very unfair and different kind of triumph, but nonetheless, we still dream big.  We want to DO SOMETHING to help change this.  But we can't do it alone.  And - thanks to people like you - we aren't.   

Copied below is an excerpt from a letter I received in the mail last week.  It is a true testament to how Ty's story will continue to inspire others long after he's gone.  I promise you that he inspires and will continue to inspire me each and every day. 

"Just after meeting you at the fundraiser in April, I began feeling off.  I just wasn't feeling well for no clear reason.  Regardless, it was quite a shock to be admitted to the ICU just 16 days later.  I was extremely anemic and 3 days later I was diagnosed with CML, a rare and chronic form of leukemia. 

"The morning after my admission, I had a bone marrow aspiration and a bone biopsy.  I do not think I would have make it through the aspiration if it were not for Ty.  I thought of him and so many of the painful things he endured through his own treatment, and I found my strength through him.  Knowing that if SuperTy could ensure all of this and more, than I could endure anything, too.  And I am a grown woman!"

"Each and every time I go to the cancer center, I wear my SuperTy t-shirt that I bought the night of your fundraiser.  I am often asked about it and I smile, because I KNOW and then I explain about my SuperTy Guardian Angel, because - with your permission - that is who he is to me. 

"I just needed you to know how much I appreciate you, your family and, of course, Ty's courage, strength and candor.  I am among many that hope you will continue to share.  I am but one person whose life you have touched and I am in a much better place because of you all.  Thank You!"

Thank you, Liisa.  Ty certainly did endure much more than any child should ever go through.  I am including the photo below not to be graphic, but to remind everyone that cancer is cruel and it does not discriminate.  Someday there will be a cure.  There simply has to be.  THIS IS NOT OKAY!!

Missing my baby boy tonight and every night.  XOXO sweet angel baby.  I wish we could have saved you.  I promise not to rest until we save the next Ty Louis Campbell. 


  1. I don't think you will ever know how many lives Ty has touched. This is a beautiful letter from Lisa.. please know that every single day i wake up and check your blog, wondering how you all are. Ty impacted my life in many ways big and small. I will always remember him and think of him and love him and miss him. It wasn't your fault that you couldn't save him. If your love could have saved him, Ty would have lived forever. God bless you all, we all miss that sweet, beautiful angel baby. Xoxo

  2. Yes I absolutely agree! Ty has touched so many including us. I hope your wonderful efforts keep expanding because I would love to do something here in Ohio to help! Hopefully someday there will be a Tyathalon here!

  3. I compare the fight to find a cure for cancer to a huge, tall ladder. We don't know how many rungs this ladder has, nor do we know how high we are to reaching the top. But the effort that you have put forth, in Ty's memory, and the funding and awareness you have been able to contribute toward this fight has helped to climb many, many, many rungs of this ladder. No matter when the cure for cancer is eventually found, or proper treatment is discovered, you HAVE ALREADY contributed so much toward the goal...all because of Ty.

  4. The picture at the top of this post makes my heart sing, the picture at the end - makes me want to scream. Why did this beautiful little boy have to suffer like this, why do any kids have to suffer like this. I wish more people would see this and get outraged - it's almost like we've become so numb to suffering that people can't see this for what it really is - a child going through unbearable pain and we as adults are not doing enough to protect them. It's amazing to hear grown-ups suffering through cancer treatment say how children going through the same inspire them. Of course anyone battling cancer, young or old, deserves to have moments of self pity - but I'd imagine once you see a kid waiting for chemo or knowing they are dealing with the same agonies you are, it must be quite an eye opener and makes it hard to feel sorry for yourself. I wish I could take the pain and suffering of these kids and make it my own. I wish change would come faster for these kids. They don't deserve to suffer while we try to make things better - especially when we're up against such ambivalence by so many. We just have to keep at it and pray that the momentum is shifting our way and that real change will come sooner then later. Standing with you as you work so hard to make that shift happen. I'll never forget Ty, RIP Little Fighter. Stay strong Campbell's. Donna T.

  5. September is almost here!!! This is all for you Ty and alk your angel friends

  6. Sending love and prayers. Your sweet boy has touched so many lives. God bless Him and God bless you and your family.

  7. My little boy is 2 years and 10 months old. He was born on October 7, in between Ty's birthday and the date of his passing. Your experience as Ty's mother has allowed me to love my son with a preciousness and presence that I may not have discovered otherwise. I can't thank you enough for baring your soul to us. Your beautiful family is changing the direction of so many things for the better. So many things. Consider me one of Ty's little soldiers, spreading awareness for the most deserving cause. On behalf of humanity, thank you for all you're giving!

  8. I so wish that my prayers and the prayers of others would have saved Ty. I never prayed for anyone so hard in my life! There is a purpose to all of this, Cindy, one day we will have a cure. We are dedicated to this fight with you and want to make a difference. ALL FOR SUPERTY.

  9. even today, seeing your picture like that breaks my heart. even though i know you are no longer hurting. you should not have endured that horrible pain, the operations, the days in the hospital. you didn't deserve it baby boy. we did fail you. we adults should have protected you. as a mom just the thought that i cant protect my baby overwhelms me. its not okay, thats what we moms are for, to fight for our kids, to make their pain go away. what a fucked up feeling that is when you can't do that. is it so much to ask, to make our babies better?! those moms are not looking to go to the moon, to buy private jets, they only want their kids to heal and not to hurt. it is so unimaginable to think that many moms even whispered to their babies allowing them to leave this earth guilt free just not to suffer. this is just like moms who willingly killed their babies during holocaust just so the naji wouldn't torture them in gas chambers. this is exactly what cancer does. it is evil but what is more evil are the people who do nothing, who turn blind eye, who don't care. this is not okay. it will never be. even if you Ty came to teach us this lesson i still won't accept it. because even maybe your soul was of a special angel it was still wrapped in the body of the most amazingly beautiful and pure 5 yo boy who only smiled thru pain and wanted to jump in a puddle. i will forever remember you, and think and pray for your family. you have no clue how special you are baby boy and how amny lives you have changed and will change forever. I miss you.

  10. My son, boyfriend, and I all include ty in our prayers every night. My son lost his biological mother to brain cancer four years ago so she is considered our guardian Angel. My son always prays "dear mommy, please watch over ty, Liam (lyon), Jessica (Ridgeway), beau (a current pow), and wormie (his pet worm that died)". I just wanted you to know that even a five year old who never met ty is touched by the impact he made on all of us, especially since his passing. Ty reminds me to wake up each day with the intention to do something good and cherish each day. From the bottom of our hearts, my family and I love your family and you are in our prayers every night.

  11. I can't wait to see the day that cancer is only mentioned in reference to the past. Someday it will be a thing of the past because of families like yours.

  12. Christine Dodge of Yonkers NYSeptember 3, 2013 at 8:35 PM

    Hi Cindy:

    I have wanted to write to you so many times over the past year and quite honestly couldn't find the right words. No one should have to go through what Ty and your family endured. It is truly unfathomable!

    You, Ty, and your family have made more of an impact on my life than you will ever know. Your words in your blog which so obviously come from your heart have put my life in perspective every time I receive one of your emails. While I am usually near tears at some point, smiling at other points, I always think of your beautiful boys and you have definitely honored Ty time and again in the most beautiful way possible!

    I have a 14 year old son and we lived in Pawling when Dylan was young. You have helped me to be grateful and not sweat silly things (most of the time) lol. Your sheer strength and love for your husband and children is obvious in every word you write.

    Dylan and I are trying very hard to do something special to raise awareness for childhood cancer. I will let you know the details if we are successful. (We should know by the end of the week)

    Please know that I have shared your story with anyone who will listen and i will continue to do so! I believe you and Lou are amazing! Im sure Ty and Gavin are very proud of all that you are doing!

    Be strong and keep up the great work! I hope to help you in some small way.

    Christine Dodge
    Yonkers, NY

    Sent from my iPad