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Showing posts from 2014

All Things "Crimpy" (Christmas)

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Last Friday night, the Ty Louis Campbell Foundation was selected to be a beneficiary of the ERJADT light display in LaGrange, NY.  ERJADT stands for the initials of Tim and Grace Gay’s three children, because their passion for bringing Christmas joy to the community was ignited after their first child was born – and it has grown into something truly incredible over the years.  And by incredible, I mean record-breaking!!  The Gay family home holds the Guinness Book of World Records for the most lights displayed on a residential property.  That’s right (as I told Gavin 100 times while driving through it), they have more Christmas lights than anyone else in the entire world! And believe me, it is something to see.  I couldn’t hold back the tears every time I drove through (which was several times) because I just know how much Ty would have loved every second of it.  In one night, cars driving through were presented with a good old fashion bucket and our best Christmas wishes.  By the end

What's YOUR Muddy Puddle?

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My eyes are filled with happy, sad and excited tears.  This is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen.  Thank you, PBS #cancerfilms, for seeing the beauty in the Muddy Puddles Project, and explaining it in the most perfectly simple way I could have ever imagined.  Thank you for making sure Ty was remembered, that his incredible perspective is being shared so widely, and that all children with cancer - all everyone with cancer - are being honored in your work.  Click below and watch the video in full screen.  I bet you can't keep a dry eye, either :) http://cancerfilms.org/blog/muddy-puddles-of-joy/ “Everybody says to me, ‘I can’t imagine, I don’t know how you could stay so strong.’ The truth is, when you’re faced with a child with cancer, you don’t have a choice.” Ty Campbell was two and half years old when he was diagnosed with cancer. The diagnosis was a complete shock to his mother and upended the life of a healthy, athletic young boy. In the midst of his fight a

TODAY IS #GIVINGTUESDAY!

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Now that Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday have come and gone, we thought it would be appropriate to reach out to friends of the Ty Louis Campbell Foundation with our annual appeal for donations on the day that is now dubbed, Giving Tuesday. Giving Tuesday is a reminder to make a charitable contribution at the start of the holiday giving season.  Thank you for continuing to support childhood cancer research by donating to the TLC Foundation in memory of Ty and in honor of all children fighting cancer. We set up a fundraising page specifically for Giving Tuesday with a year-end goal of $10,000.  Last year we far surpassed our goal of $5,000If everyone on this distribution packed a lunch or skipped the Starbucks and instead made a donation, we would reach that goal in no time!  We will be giving out prizes to random donors throughout the day including t-shirts and PRET*TY bracelets! www.razoo.com/story/givingtuesdaytlc All donations are tax-de

The other love of my life... my husband

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Relationships often become casualties of crisis.  Even the strongest of couples, when faced with life-changing crisis, can find themselves forced apart due to a range of reactions, different levels of coping, or conflicting outlets of grief.  I first saw this when my best friend broke off her engagement following a serious accident that had a tremendous impact on her family.  Her fiancĂ© simply couldn’t relate.  He sank deeply inward to give her space, instead of grabbing hold tight and trying to lift her up out of the dark hole.  I didn’t understand it then, but I can entirely relate now.  Relationships can be blindsided by life.  I have seen too many relationship casualties of childhood cancer and child loss, and I am so incredibly grateful that mine is not one of them. I was 27 years old when I met Lou (or as he likes to say, when I picked him up at a bar).  He was bartending at Bliss Bar in Manhattan, and I was stopping in after work to visit with my friend Christina and her Dad f

Is October over yet?

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It's a tough month.  It's as simple as that.  I thought I would be okay, because in general I've been getting by pretty well, but I was wrong.  Lou was wrong, too.  I am borrowing this from my friend Andrea (Riley's proud mama), because it couldn't be a more appropriate depiction of how we have been feeling for the past 4 weeks. But despite these feelings, we prefer to tell everyone, "I'm fine."  Because it's easier.  For all of us. How fitting. Lou just walked past me as I was typing and saw the graphic posted above.  He joked, "You're not fine... You're crazy."  I told him to take another look at what it reads.  He leaned in closer for a double take and he laughed out loud at the perfect irony. Colleen and I always shared our awesomeness - both of us having birthdays in October and simply adoring the fact that we are Libras.  Because - as all Libra's know well - being a Libra is simply the best.  When Ty was born j

Crying is crippling. Let the debilitating breakdown begin...

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It's okay to cry.  I know this to be true.  But, I can't live by that rule day-in and day-out because crying is crippling.  This week, however, is an exception.  Tomorrow will be 2 years since Ty died in our arms.  I don't want to ever forget a single thing about him, or about that day.  Not even for a second. Yet, I can't bear to remember, either.  It's a twisted little truth about life without him.  To think of him is to inflict pain upon myself - and I wish it wasn't so.  I wish it was as beautiful and positive as I most often portray it to be.  I wish every memory brought me laughter instead of tears, but i'm not there yet and doubt I ever will be. Every other day of the year, I am usually doing well. I put one foot in front of the other, because I push the painful thoughts out of my head.  When my memories float in, I allow them to stay until I feel the tears in my eyes.  Then I push them aside, like a fly on my nose. How can I do that?  How can I s

Rainy Birthdays

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I don't know what the weather was like the day Ty was born.  I was in the hospital since the day before and he finally arrived at 11PM that night.  But on the day we took him home, the weather was perfect.  One of those magical days in early October where the sun warms you just enough to take off your sweatshirt and soak it all in under the changing leaves.  That was the day our life changed forever, and I couldn't wait to live it. My birthday was on Wednesday, it was perfectly rainy and gloomy.  It suited my mood.  Today is Ty's birthday.  He would be seven years old.  Today is also pouring rain.  I've been checking the weather all week and there are raindrops from start to finish today.  It's perfect.  A muddy puddle kind of day just for Ty. Please remember Ty today, and let your kids do whatever they want (well, almost).  It's Saturday. Let them make a mess in muddy puddles,  Bake cookies.  Use fingerpaint.  Let them have ice cream for breakfast and ma

Long Beach Sand in Our Shoes

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Living in a beachfront community, there is a common phrase, "I've got sand in my shoes."  It's more than a literal reference to the actual sand that is in your shoes more often than not.  It is representative of the beach being part of you - going with you wherever you go. Our family has Long Beach sand in our shoes, and we always will.  No matter where life takes us. When Ty was home on hospice care, some great friends from Long Beach were coming up for a visit and Lou asked them to bring a bottle of water from the ocean, and a jar of sand from the beach.  He kept it in his closet.  I didn't know why. When we laid Ty in his casket, he was dressed in a white three-piece suit, and a blue handkerchief - his hair was perfect, his feet were bare.  Then Lou pulled out the box from his closet.  He poured the sand over Ty's bare feet, followed by the ocean water.  We believed he was free to go back to the beach, and we found peace knowing he was going to rest w

Nothing gold can stay

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Nature’s first green is gold, Her hardest hue to hold. Her early leaf’s a flower; But only so an hour. Then leaf subsides to leaf. So Eden sank to grief, So dawn goes down to day. Nothing gold can stay. - Robert Frost I don't think there could be a better color to represent childhood cancer.  Children, in all of their beauty, purity and innocence, are truly golden.  When a poor child is diagnosed with cancer, he or she is immediately robbed of this, while forced to face pain, fear and realities that grown men and women can barely even cope with. When Gavin bumps his head badly, or skins his knee, or gets a shot at the doctor's office - I coddle him and I try to comfort him with every remedy possible.  Yet, in my mind I know what real pain looks like to a five year old.  I think to myself "sweet little man, you have no idea, thank God"  And for that, I am grateful.  He is still gold and I want him to hold onto that for as long as he possibly can. I want him

GOING GOLD and The Long Beach Luau

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The Long Beach Luau is less than two weeks away.  We hope you will get your tickets!  Finally, the TLC Foundation is bringing an annual fundraising event to Long Island.  It will be fun for the entire family.  A wonderful way to say goodbye to summer. Thank you, Brother Jimmy's and The Sands , for hosting this incredible beachfront event.  The food will be amazing, as will the entertainment.  Please join us. GET TICKETS HERE:   www.tylouisluau.eventbrite.com In the meantime, September is in full swing and we couldn't be more excited about the incredible campaigns taking place.  This weekend, alone, the adorable Bella hosted a lemonade stand for the TLC Foundation during Pawling's neighborhood tag sale, and the Westlake Wildcats went gold for the second year in a row (check out those socks and bows)!  Arlington High School will be wearing gold shoelaces, and Carmel High School is dedicating September fundraising efforts in support of TLC.  And the list goes on...

Thank you, Empire State Building

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“Thank you, Empire State Building. Your refusal to support the childhood cancer community has only created a firestorm of support.  The kind of support we have been rallying for over decades!  Your grossly insensitive decision, and the following bad press that accompanied it, has only helped our cause and raised childhood cancer awareness across our beloved city and beyond.  So, for that and only that, I thank you.  For anyone who doesn't understand where this message stems from, let me back up a bit.   September is childhood cancer awareness month, and the awareness movement is represented by a gold ribbon.   This is my son, Ty.   He died of cancer 13 days after his fifth birthday.   He was the one, out of every 300 children, who was suddenly and inexplicably diagnosed with cancer.   He deserves your attention and support.   They all do.     Over the past five years, I have watched a lot of failed awareness efforts unfold across the childhood cancer commun