Dear Diary, I can’t remember before I had cancer. I was too little.
Tyler was diagnosed with Acute Lymphocytic Leukaemia (ALL) in November 2012, when he had just turned three. As a result of treatment and dramatic weight loss, Tyler was unable to sit unsupported, stand or walk. He did not get back on his feet until June 2013 – physiotherapy, splints; a walking frame and wheelchair have all been a feature of his recovery. He finished treatment on January 30, 2016.
Tyler does not let anything get him down or stand in his way.
When Tyler and his family returned home – after spending 10 weeks including Christmas and New Year on the hospital ward in Auckland – the regular visits from their Family Support Co-ordinator; practical support with fuel and groceries; and regular social events, all helped during some extremely difficult times.
As one of our 2017 National Ambassadors Tyler took part in our March Appeal campaign. The campaign called "Dear Diary" gave Tyler a chance to share how he really felt about having cancer.
Tyler shares about having cancer
1. How would you describe your cancer to other kids/your friends?
Having cancer meant missing out on things that other kids could do. Having to take my chemo every day was horrible.
2. What was the worst thing about being sick?
The finger pricks!
3. What do you want to do when you finish school?
When I finish school and am a big person I want to be a fireman!
4. Why did you want to be a Child Cancer Foundation ambassador?
To help other kids.
5. What are you most looking forward to this year?
Going to Family Camp!
6. What would you say to one of these people if they were in front of you right now?
Tyler’s first answer to this question (tongue in cheek) was “Do you want my autograph?” (after which he laughed and gave a more serious answer): “Thank-you for taking care of me and the other children.”
7. How important do you think these volunteers are for Child Cancer Foundation? Why are they important?
Really important because they raise money and help other children.
8. Do you think one day when you’re older, you’ll volunteer to help raise money for Child Cancer Foundation? Why?
Yes. To help take care of other children. It might be my second job. I might do it every Wednesday and be a fire-fighter on the other days.
9. What do you think the money people raise goes towards and why?
For activities: our Christmas Party and Family Camp.
10. What’s your favourite thing that Child Cancer Foundation gave you? Why?
My Purple Heart because it is precious.
11. If Child Cancer Foundation didn’t exist when you were sick – what would be different?
I wouldn’t have my fire suit or my beads.
12. Do you think Child Cancer Foundation helped you get better? How?
Yes, by raising money to help me and my family.
How you can help children like Tyler
We work hard to reduce the impact of cancer on children and their families, but to do so we need your help. A donation from you will help us continue to support children like Tyler and their families.
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