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Tyler’s Story

On October 29, 1998, at age 6, while living in San Diego, Tyler was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, a malignant disease (cancer) of the bone marrow and blood.  Acute leukemia is a rapidly progressing disease that results in the accumulation of immature, functionless cells in the marrow and blood.  
He spent the following 2 1/2 years going to the hospital for chemotherapy treatments.  In June 2001, we were so excited to know that his treatment was finished and celebrated with our family and friends.

After several years in remission, on May 25, 2005 at the age of 12, while living near Pittsburgh, he would face cancer again and endure another 3 1/2 years of chemo.
He finished his chemo treatment in the summer of 2008.  Things had been going well and we had been looking forward to Tyler's Senior year in High School.  We had been getting prepared with school with such things like new supplies, clothes and Senior portraits.  
In September of 2009, Tyler went in for his monthly routine check-up.  During his checkup, his doctor checked his neurological state and asked him to follow her finger where she pointed.  When she pointed up above, the iris of his right eye was not as strong and did not go to the same level as his left.   She suggested we go see an ophthalmologist to see why the iris on Tyler's right eye was lower than his left during a routine neurological test. 
Several days prior, he started feeling tingly sensation on the right side of his face, headaches, nausea, and neck pain.  After talking on the phone with the clinic, it was suggested we go down to have a CT scan and MRI  of Tyler's brain were they found a few lesions.  A 15mm lesion was putting pressure on an optic nerve that controls 4 muscles to the right eye.

With his doctor on vacation, the clinic still felt it was important enough for us to be seen by another doctor.   The next day, after a painful spinal and bone marrow test, we found out the horrible news, the lesions were a result of leukemia in his brain.

After his last diagnosis on September 18, 2009, he immediately started chemotherapy.  It was then determined a bone marrow transplant (BMT) would be necessary.  We were blessed with a perfect match donor, his sister, Chelsea.  The BMT took place on March 3, 2010.

It has been over four years since that day.  Since then, Tyler has been dealing with late effects from his 6 ½ years of chemotherapy and radiation treatments as well as Chronic Graft vs. Host Disease.  He was diagnosed with Pulmonary Fibrosis and Bronchiolitis Abliterands in early 2012 as a result of the radiation treatments.  His condition steadily deteriorated through 2014 and on November 16, 2014 Tyler received new lungs.

After being diagnosed a 3rd time with Leukemia, having a Bone Marrow Transplant  in March 2010 and a Double Lung Transplant on Nov. 16, 2014, Tyler continues to fight this battle.  However, God continues to work in his life today.  For brief synopsis, in his own words, of his struggles this past year, You can watch this video: Tyler's Storyhttp://youtu.be/ejoT_x7Wxj4.

Latest Journal Update

Livin the dream

Tyler has been doing great.  Although, he was sick last week, he’s feeling much better and is seeking what to do with his life.  He does have limited options but he has options.  He is developing into a leader at our Life Group we host every Thursday in our home for 18 to 28 year-olds.  He has wisdom with humility to share with his peers.   I was just thinking today how just 4 months ago, we didn’t think he would make it until Christmas and today, well, today is a blessing beyond words.
Karen is doing very well also.  Even though they have not turned on the DBS yet, we see great improvement in her personality.  Our kids have their mom back and I have my best friend.  Nothing could be better.
Hope is a wonderful thing.  Hope lifts you out of despair.  Hope brings life.  Hope brings joy.  Hope is what we’ve held on to through all these years.  Hope is what carried us through it all.  Not a hope in that things will get better or some cliché that it will all work out.  No.  Our hope has always been in the one, true GOD.  No matter what the outcome.  No matter how devastating the blow.  No matter how hopeless.  We have hope in the only one who matters in life.  The only one who gives life.  He has given us that life and given it much more abundantly than we ever dreamed.  He is our hope.  Do you have hope?

Keepin’ the faith,


27 people hearted this


7 Comentarios

Sandy Daron
By Sandy
PTL for the good news!!

Love ya,
C.O.L.E.s Foundation
(Caring Openly, Loving Eternally)
Email: sandy@colesfoundation.com
Kris Dillenbeck
By Kris Dillenbeck
Continued thoughts and prayers are with you.
Edie Chaffee
By Edie Chaffee
We have hope! Thanks for being such a witness to God's faithfulness through all things in life. I am soooooo glad to hear ALL of you are doing well. PRAISE THE LORD!
Kathy Pietzcker
By Kathy P.
What a wonderful thing to read! Tyler and Karen, I so glad you're both doing much better. We continually pray for the family. God bless you all!
Maria Falbo
By Maria Falbo, Wheatfield NY
Thank you! What a wonderful way to start the day...God Bless you all.
cindi falzon
By Your sis, Cindi
Yes. I have hope. Not that John is still here, but God gave me a window of time when I got MY own John back for a short while too. Just like you got your own Karen back, their REAL personality. It was only for a few months though, Mar 2010 to Sept 2010, but at least it was something. The blessing out weighed the sorrows. God doesn't waste our pain. I have had so many times to encourage others who are walking through difficulty. I can recognize their pain and encourage them with a few short words. Raindrops in the desert. A ray of light in the dark, long tunnel. The hope of resurrection in the face of death. Jesus is our hope. We cry out for Him!
Debby Mooney - St. Louis, MO
By Debby
So happy that things are going well, I pray for many good days ahead for your family. God be with you all.

COLE Prayer Team
Debby Mooney, St. Louis MO