I have a new hero. His name is Tyler Hallsey. He is 15 years old.
“On February 8, 2013 Tyler was diagnosed with Pontine Glioma which is a tumor surrounding the brain stem. Not something you would add to your list of good things, but then again, it has never met anyone like Tyler. At this point we know that treatment will most likely not include surgery, but would be 6 weeks of radiation and chemotherapy. With an MRI again 4 weeks later to allow swelling from the treatments to subside. I asked Tyler today what he thinks we should do, and he emphatically said, “Whatever it Takes.” So there you have it. We are now Team Whatever it Takes!”
The above description was taken from Tyler’s Facebook page. For the past 17 months, Tyler’s dad has been sharing his journey on Facebook. Through that page, he has shared hope, faith, and inspiration to thousands of people.
I have been blessed to follow that page, and humbled as I have read the updates over the past year and a half. This boy was a giant. His faith and testimony of the gospel have touched my life and countless others. He went from a normal 13 year old boy who loved to play basketball and the piano, to a young man who was fighting an uphill battle with an awful disease that would take his mobility away, along with his ability to speak.
Although I’m sure there were dark and difficult times that were not shared with the world, what was shared was hope…hope not only for recovery, but hope in Jesus Christ.
He passed away last night, after fighting for nearly a year and a half. My heart breaks for his family. Heaven only knows their pain.
But, I am thankful for him…and for his family. Elise went to preschool with Tyler’s brother, and I knew them a little bit. Even though I did not know them well, I am grateful for their courage, their strength, and their faith. It has made me a better person, and touched the lives of my family and countless others. Through following their journey, I have gained greater perspective and greater faith in Heavenly Father, who doesn’t always take away our suffering, but will strengthen us through it.
Although many people will miss Tyler, I know that he is in a better place now, free from suffering, and in the arms of the Savior. I know that death is not the end – that life and family relationships go on beyond the grave. I am grateful for that knowledge, which strengthens me through these difficult tests of mortality.
Thank you, Tyler Hallsey, for your legacy. I will forever remember you.
I close with the words of Tyler’s Dad:
“No matter your challenge. No matter your burden. Never surrender. Never give up. Never allow the darkness to overtake the light. The challenge, the burden, the trial, cannot reach your spirit unless you let it in. Victory can and will be ours. There is always hope. Always.
“Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.” Romans 15:13
Cherish every moment.”