“Our sweet Ty approached every day with a positive energy, was tough and never complained. Ty was a believer and entered the Lord's Kingdom on May 4, 2018 after celebrating his mom's birthday on the 3rd. Ty will be always be remembered for his strength, smile, and courage – “Ty Tough” forever in our hearts. Here is an overview of Ty's battle with Ewing's Sarcoma. Please share his story and for those battling, know that you are never alone and can reach out to me, Andy or the Cal's Angels family at any time. Ty was diagnosed with Ewing's Sarcoma on July 22, 2016 after a few months of unexplained side pain. Ewing's Sarcoma is a rare children's cancer that forms in or around the bones and occurs in less than 1,000 children in the US a year. Typically, it occurs in young boys between the age of 10 to 12. Ty's tumor was in his rib cage and it was the cause of his side pain.
Ty started an aggressive chemotherapy protocol in early August 2016 and was under treatment as he started 6th grade at Haines Middle School now Thompson Middle School. He attended the first 2 days of school, but due to the aggressive treatment and a compromised immune system, he was taught at home by a tutor from the district for the entire school year. He also received proton therapy in December 2016 through January 2017 to further treat the tumor while on this chemotherapy protocol that continued through July 2017.
In July 2017, we thought that we were on the road to recovery, however, scans and a biopsy revealed that what we thought was scar tissue from proton therapy was still an active tumor. On July 24, 2017, Ty underwent surgery at Lurie's hospital to remove the active tumor and three ribs. He recovered well from the surgery and started a new round of chemotherapy treatment with two different medications. Ty received this new chemotherapy protocol at the clinic at Central DuPage Hospital and was able to attend school on non-treatment weeks.
In January 2018, after routine scans, another active tumor was found in the same rib cage area. We went back to Lurie's hospital for surgery on January 4th. This time they removed the tumor, additional soft tissue in the area and part of another rib. We worked with doctors at Central DuPage Hospital, Lurie Children's Hospital, Boston Children's Hospital, and the Cleveland Medical Clinic to determine the next path of treatment, which was a specialized targeted therapy. In March, we learned that the targeted therapy did not shrink the tumor and started a new chemotherapy protocol.
We were blessed to work with some of the best doctors and nurses in the world through Central DuPage Hospital, Lurie Children's Hospital, Boston Children's Hospital, and the Cleveland Medical Clinic. We are thankful for the support from the Haines/Thompson administration, the Thompson 7-3 team that spent a lot of time with Ty and the entire school. Thank you again to all of those who provided support to Ty and continue to honor him. Also, thank you to those that have supported me and my husband through this journey. We are very grateful for all of you!
Andy and I are so touched by the opportunity to honor Ty at this Cal's Angels “Just Shave It” event. Cal's Angels is a wonderful foundation! We were introduced to them early in our journey. They grant wishes to children that are battling cancer which lifts their spirits during this tough time. They sent us to a Bulls game and granted Ty's wish to set up a hang-out area in our basement where they very graciously donated a ping-pong and stick hockey table. They also provide wonderful support through their 12 days of Christmas and many other events for the kids.
Most importantly, Cal's Angels raises funds to fight children's cancer. There are only a limited number of chemotherapy medications that have been tested and approved to battle cancer in children. Once the front-line medications do not work, there are limited options to battle the disease. Cal's is helping fund traditional chemotherapy research along with their Precision Medicine initiative, which is a targeted therapy that Ty received during his treatment. Most targeted treatments are tested only on adults. With the awareness and research that Cal's Angels provides, it will help increase testing for children leading to life-saving treatment options. Thank you, Cal's Angels, for funding research for children's cancer and providing us all hope!”
At age 11, Ty was diagnosed with Ewing Sarcoma.