Tuesday, December 8, 2015

The Long and Winding Road that Leads to a Cure

It's been three years since we first opened our doors at the Ty Louis Campbell Foundation. I was so raw with grief and so angry about losing Ty to cancer, that this nonprofit became my lifeline. I lived and breathed fundraising and dove head-first into learning the landscape of childhood cancer research. I reached out to every other childhood cancer nonprofit I could find, and made connections with the parents and the game-changers. It is no secret that I believe collaboration is key and we will make more progress, faster, if we work together.  

It has been a journey in itself - a long and winding road that has consumed my life in the same way cancer did 5 years ago - but this journey has the greatest reward imaginable at the end of the tunnel. If, in my lifetime, I witness a little boy like Ty who survives his diagnosis thanks to safer, more effective treatment options - the TLC Foundation will have achieved everything we set out to do.

There is no place that I love being more than right here in this office. Ty is all around me here - he is a part of everything we do.

Meet Riley - Our First Guest Blogger!
Riley is a young girl in our community who was inspired by Ty's story. She launched "The Blue Lollipop Project" in his memory as a means to help children with cancer. For her Bat Mitzvah Project, she fundraised for the TLC Foundation and continues to support us to this day. I recently invited her to visit the research lab at The Children's Brain Tumor Project/Weill Cornell, and she got to meet Dr. Sheng Li, the Ty Louis Campbell Fellow, along with Ty's neurosurgeon, Dr. Greenfield. I asked her to post our first guest blog about the experience, and her words touch my heart.

"What I thought was already a meaningful experience became so much more. I was given the opportunity to see where my efforts through The Blue Lollipop Project have gone. On November 13, I got to visit the Weill Cornell Medical Lab for Pediatric Cancer Research. The first thing you see when you walk into the lab are pictures of seemingly healthy children who have all passed away from cancer. At first glance I felt happy, thinking that these were pictures of children who had survived, but as my gaze went to the bottom of the photos I quickly realized each one had a birth and death year. My heart stopped for a second as I processed this. It was very emotional seeing all of the kids pictures on the walls knowing that they had passed away, but at the same time it made me feel hopeful knowing that the parents of these children are so strong as they help the lab to try to save other children while mourning their own. Before going to the lab and meeting the researchers whom my project funds, my understanding was that the money I raised went to the TLC Foundation and then from there to funding multiple pediatric cancer research facilities. After going to the lab, I really made the connection between what I do and it's affect on others. I got to meet the doctor, Dr. Sheng, that the TLC specifically funds. Dr. Sheng developed some technologies for pediatric cancer research that are used all around the world. I found it so cool that the person that The TLC Foundation funds has done this. It's truly amazing what can happen when people come together for a single cause. 

This time of year I am so thankful for a multitude of things including my involvement with the TLC Foundation. I hope that people realize what the TLC Foundation does and how the funding is directly used to fund pediatric cancer research. I am so grateful that I got the chance to see the lab and meet the researchers. It is so inspiring what they do! Thank you, Mrs. Campbell for sharing Ty’s story and always inspiring me to do more."


-Riley


8 comments:

  1. Great post! Riley should be very proud to have launched such a wonderful project!

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  2. Wonderful!! Beautiful young woman

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  3. That's awesome! Every time I purchase something on Amazon, a small portion is supposed to go to the foundation, and I hope it does. Since I buy pretty much everything on Amazon, I have constant reminders of Ty, and I like it that way. I don't ever want to forget that best good boy.

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  4. Campbell family, Merry Christmas!!! This new avenue that the blog has taken is so beautiful.

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  5. what an amazing young girl. I can't wait to have a cure that Ty was so deserving of. This picture of Ty is one of my favorites. Its a screen at my work computer. And everytime someobe new walks by they always say what a beautiful boy. Is he yours? And when I tell them the truth I almost enjoy seeing how uncomfortable they are because it perfectly shows how CANCER doesn't discrimintate. Look at his. Look at this smile. Is there anyone who has more life in him captured on this photo? No. Kids get cancer and the treatment is still not good enough. There is no cure! But with more research I am hoping and praying that another child will be healthy and will beat this monster. Thank you babyboy. Missing you superTy. Your forever fan.
    Tatiana

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