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age 5, brain tumor


In spring 2015, at home in California, 2-year-old Ty was having a hard time during an Easter egg hunt. Every time he bent to pick up a colored egg, he lost his balance and fell. He’d been having headaches and ear infections, but this was really worrying. On examination, Ty’s pediatrician sent him to the local hospital for a CT scan. An hour later, Ty’s parents received crushing news: Ty had a mass in his brain the size of a small peach. 

Patient Ty playing

Ty (right) and his brother play on his family's farm in California. 

Within a week he was in surgery at another nearby hospital to remove the tumor, a type called anaplastic ependymoma. But when it came to further treatment, Ty’s parents turned to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. 

St. Jude is leading the way the world understands, treats and defeats childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases. 


Ty (right) with his dad, mom and brother. 

They don’t hem-haw around. At St. Jude, they’re like, this is the plan of attack, we know how to get this, and we’re going to take care of it.
Megan, Ty’s mom

Ty arrived at St. Jude in May 2015 and underwent 33 rounds of radiation therapy followed by four months of chemotherapy. St. Jude staff made this hard time easier.

“Ty loves St. Jude because he gets so much attention there,” said Megan. “They make it really fun for him. When Ty had radiation, he’d be put under anesthesia every day for it. When he’d come to, they’d have chocolate milk waiting for him, and they’d have chocolate milk waiting for his brother too. They’re just beyond amazing. It’s not anywhere close to any other hospital I’ve ever been to.”

Patient Ty with brother on farm

Ty loves to play with animals in his free time. 

Ty is a tough little boy, and a loving one. Now 5 years old, he is cancer-free and back at home with his family — and the family animals, which include ponies for Ty and his brother as well as a new calf the boys named “Strawberry.” Ty will start kindergarten in August and will soon don vest and chaps to take part in the local rodeo. He returns to St. Jude for regular checkups.


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When you donate monthly, your gift means families, like Ty's, never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food — because all a family should worry about is helping their child live.

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