The past two weeks have been spent trying to juggle event planning in between all of these snow days! I can't believe we are home today, yet again. Gavin loves it, and to be honest I don't mind a quiet day in PJ's with a beautiful fire, either, but I have been missing the office and missing my writing. I am also missing the sunshine. While the snow is certainly beautiful and magical in it's own right - after day in and day out of this white stuff, I'm really looking forward to warmer days ahead!! Like. Really.
Instead of my own writing, today I want to share with you something that I never have the opportunity to share - Lou's perspective. In his speech on Saturday, he gave everyone a glimpse into his daily routine, and what his life is like without his son. I am lucky enough to have maintained this journal to find support and an outlet for my grief. I share my everyday experiences and my innermost heartaches. Lou has never had such an outlet, which is why I think everyone at the "Share the Love" event was so surprised when his speech moved the room to tears so suddenly. In between the laughter, the drinks and the rowdy casino tables, Lou gave an incredible speech that reminded everyone in the room why we were all gathered together that night. Pasted below is just a portion of that speech. I am so proud of him and so in love.
I’d like to start by thanking DiBico construction, NBC-NY, Grass Geenie and Only Perfect Parties. Without our sponsors, we would not have been able to pull together such an incredible event.
I want to stand here in front of you and say something short and to the point. However, I need it to be impactful enough for you to never stop supporting the foundation we created in honor of Ty. So here goes……..
Our 1st born son died 2 weeks after his 5th birthday. Let me repeat that…
Our 1st born son died 2 weeks after his 5th birthday from brain cancer.
He wasn't predisposed or at risk of getting cancer any more than any other child, but it happened. One day he was a perfectly healthy little boy, the next day we were told he had cancer. 2 and a half years after that, he was gone.
That was only after witnessing his incessant suffering for the duration of those years. His 20 surgeries, chemotherapy, 250 nights in the hospital and all of the pain, anxiety and setbacks that went along with the cancer and treatments.
After Ty passed away, someone sent us a stuffed doll that resembled him. He has spikey blonde hair, green eyes, and wears a pair of Jets pajamas. Every day, I wake up, take the "Ty doll" out of bed and place it in a chair sitting up; I walk over to our dresser, kiss Ty’s ashes and say good morning. I look at his picture and smile. On my way out I kiss Cindy and Gavin goodbye, clear my head and try to remember what’s important, determined to make a difference. Throughout the day I communicate with my wife and see how she is handling the day, discuss our next research grant or fundraiser.
We then meet at home for dinner, smile at Gavin and know we’re blessed. After bath time Cindy goes back to work on the Foundation and I go upstairs with Gavin.
I put the Ty doll to bed, then Gavin, and together Gavin and I say goodnight to Ty and do prayers. I then roll over and pretend I’m with Ty for the rest of our old prayer routine, trying to remember the sound of his sweet whispers. Once Gavin’s asleep, Cindy and I meet downstairs to talk about the Foundation and Ty. At bedtime we go upstairs, kiss Ty’s ashes and bring the Ty doll back to bed with us knowing we worked hard to save a child we will never meet.
About a half our later we hear the mini thumping down the hall and are joined by Gavin. This always brings a smile because we were lucky enough to always have had Ty in our bed every night and know the value of these precious nights.
This is a sad story.
But despite that reality, we will not let it have a bad ending.
We will not fall in a hole and give up.
We are the luckiest parents in the world, for being blessed with Ty and Gavin in the first place.
We are grateful for the extra time we had with TY. That boy has been an angel since the day he was born and will be eternally.
We are thankful for our loving families, our caring friends and supportive strangers.
We are thankful for our countless volunteers.
We are thankful for our board members and I’d love for you all to come up here to be recognized.
|Some of our incredible board members|
|thank you, what an incredible surprise!|
Lastly, I’d like you to all join me in a tradition around our house by raising your glasses and saying “cheers to TY”.
I'm so lucky to call him my husband. He is the best father in the world, and his relationship with Ty was one of profound love.
Saturday night was such a great time. I am still smiling :) We raised a ton of money (grossing almost $45,000) and everyone had tons of fun at the casino. I was brought to tears when I saw my friends from college who I haven't seen in years, and my co-worker who I last saw when Ty was first diagnosed. So much has happened, and these beautiful women braved the snow to travel to Greenwich and support me. I was honored and overwhelmed by everyone's efforts to be there. I hope everyone agrees it was well worth it! It was such a success, we will be sure to host it again year over year.