Yesterday was Lou's birthday. I put together a tribute video for him to try and recreate the happiness he and Donna gave to me on my birthday. Although it doesn't compare, it was still a great representation of the true love between Daddy and Ty. I couldn't have asked for a better man to go through this with. He is my rock, and Ty loved his Daddy so very much. I tried to find video clips of home movies that Lou hasn't seen in ages, and pictures that we don't look at as often. He loved it.
It happened to me today. Something that hasn't happened in a really, really long time, if ever. I was on Facebook or something meaningless like that, thinking of Ty, and for a moment I forgot he was gone. When it hit me that he died, it was like I felt it for the first time all over again. It only lasted seconds, that feeling of shock, but it was so powerful. Does that happen to people after losing a loved one? Even one year later? I couldn't believe how strong and real it felt. My poor bleeding broken heart took another beating for a brief moment and it left me in a state of fleeting shock and confusion. Surreal. That's the only way I can describe it.
I am so proud of the foundation and all we have accomplished in our first year. We just established funding the "Ty Louis Campbell Fellowship" at Weill Cornell, which means there will be a dedicated lab researcher supporting the Children's Brain Tumor Project - which is bringing individualized treatment protocols to children with rare and inoperable brain tumors via genetic sequencing. It is very promising and I am so happy to be supporting it. And that is only the beginning of several research investments we are committed to over the next few months. Not to mention that we planned out 2014 during a recent board meeting and we have some AMAZING fundraisers planned. TLC is here to stay, and already we are making a difference!!
Speaking of making a difference, we are big supporters of the Truth 365 campaign. The recent government shutdown brought children fighting cancer to the forefront. At the time, many of our elected officials stated their unwavering support for childhood cancer research. Now it's time to turn those words into action. Please watch and share THIS VIDEO via social media to help raise awareness and to support this awareness campaign. #thetruth365film
Awareness = Funding = Research = Better Treatment Options
So, a few months ago my friend Kristi mentioned that she made an appointment with a medium - Psychic Sandy on Long Island. She had been on a waiting list for over a year, and asked me if I would be interested in hosting a party with Sandy where she reads for an entire group. I talked it over with my mom and we eventually agreed to have a "medium party" at her house in Wantagh. My friends, My mom's friends and Kristi and her friends would all get together for a fun night.
To be honest, I am so 100% confident about my spiritual connection with Ty, that I didn't think I needed a medium to validate that for me... but regardless, she not only validated that Ty was there and communicating with her on some level, the entire experience left me feeling really good above all things. I can honestly say that no matter what you think about the psychic, at the end of the night we all had a lot of fun! We were on the edge of our seats for 2.5 hours listening to some pretty amazing stuff!!!
I could write a book about the various people in the room, their stories, and what Sandy told them, but instead of sharing such individual details I will just focus on what Ty shared for me, and a few other key conversations from that night.
When Sandy asked "who lost a child?' she looked in my direction immediately. I raised my hand and she dove right in. She said some very interesting things, like (and I have to paraphrase):
"He had something very rare. Like a long word that can be abbreviated. He keeps showing me the word 'supercalafragilistic' to describe what he had."
Yes. He had an extra-renal atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumor. Abbreviated by AT/RT.
"He has a brother. His name starts with 'G.' I can't quite get his name, but I keep seeing my daughter. For example, my daughter's name is Gianna, and we call her 'GiGi'. Is it something like that?"
Yes, his brother's name is Gavin. Ty used to call him "Ga-Ga."
"Do you wear a special necklace for him?"
Of course I do. There were seven of us in that room who wear the same locket/necklace for Ty.
"He is telling me that you went to Manhattan often"
Yes. He was treated at memorial sloan kettering in NYC. We spend a lot of time there.
"He wants you to know that he didn't know he was sick. He was happy. You spent a lot of time in the car, and he enjoyed that time with you."
Yes, at least two hours a day in the car. Back and forth from treatment. I was so happy to hear that he didn't know he was sick. That was one of the two things I asked him to talk to me about. I often worry about what he was thinking. If spending all that time in the car was draining for him.
"He says he had a special hat. I am being drawn to that girl's red sweater."
Yes, he wore a red fedora often before he got so sick. It was his trademark hat. We even included it in a statue that was recently sculpted as a tribute to Ty.
"He says you laid down with him. Many parents sit at the bedside, hold hands, or kneel... but he's telling me you were laying with him, and he knew you were doing that."
Yes, in fact he was in my bed for an entire night after he died. I read him books. I laid with him for hours. We slept in bed together every night for over two years straight, too.
"You cut some of his hair and kept it."
"He wants you to know that no matter what you did, even if you chose different treatment or tried something else, you never would have saved him. That you did all you could do, and his disease was too far gone there was nothing you could have done to change the outcome."
This was my most important message. Now that I am raising so much money for research, I constantly question - what if we found this study in time for Ty? I wish I consulted with this Doc, he is doing amazing things. Maybe that would have made all the difference! Before the medium, I asked Ty to send me a message about this above all. I wanted to know if I did all I could do, if I made good decisions, and if the ladybugs are really from him.
As for the ladybugs, all she said was "Yes, I don't know how or why, but kids are always sending ladybugs, butterflies, red cardinals, etc. Don't ever doubt those signs, because they are so very real."
After the reading from Ty - and there was a lot more than what I listed above - the medium mentioned that Ty had an "army of men" behind him. She specifically said his Uncle was with him. "Who is James?" she asked to the room, and my sister-and-law and I were in shock. Uncle Jimmy!!
Lou and Debi lost their older brother just six weeks after Ty was born, and the details the medium described about his life were just so incredible. She knew everything about him. Details that no one could just pull out of thin air like that. Painful memories that no one knows about. No one can make this up. No one can get this kind of information from Google. It was real. It was totally mind-blowing. And it was beautiful. All I know is that hearing her share about Jimmy and all he endured made me a solid believer in her gift. I didn't need much reassurance to know that Ty is with me every day because I feel him, and because I see him in the world around me. But to hear from Jimmy, that was just a beautiful experienced that validated that he is finally resting in peace. Which is all we ever wanted for him.
She also spoke to my childhood friend (we have been great friends FOREVER) who lost her mom when we were 18. She told her that her mom was inside her house at the time of the reading! She then proceeded to describe the inside of my friend's house with such exact detail it was making my head spin. It was so cool, that's all I can say. She knew what the entire inside of her house looks like! Exactly!
You don't have to believe in the medium. I still don't even know what to make of it. All I know, is that the room that night was filled with nothing but loving messages. So there's no bad in that.
Goodnight, Ty. I miss you and love you so much. Even during your most difficult days... when cancer stole your ability to move your arms or even hold your head up... you lived life to the fullest and smiled every step of the way. You are amazing, little man. I love you super duper big much always and forever. Just look at your smile here. SuperTy indeed. My little super hero.