One story of the impact your contributions make
Everything we try to do as an organization is personal. Donations go directly to help individuals; real, identifiable people who need your help. We want everyone who supports us to see and feel the direct impact of their contributions. We can’t always share private information, but in this case we can. The mother (and obstacle racer) of Tyra May Liko penned this after receiving one of our healthcare assistance grants, which is made possible through donations. If you’ve ever donated to For Those Who Would or are considering it, please read in order to understand how much it means.
Tyra May Liko was a normal, healthy, active 12 year old girl when her life was turned upside down in November of 2016. What was thought to be a minor concussion, was diagnosed at CHEO as a brain tumour. The family and Tyra had only days to process the diagnosis before Tyra was in brain surgery for 13.5 hours to remove the tumor. A week later, they received the news they were hoping would not come. Tyra’s tumor was malignant. Cancer. Medulloblastoma.
Luckily the tumor resection was a complete success and the neurosurgeon was able to remove all of the tumor; however, Tyra still had to face 30 full treatments of radiation and then 9 full cycles of chemotherapy to hopefully eradicate any lingering cancer cells. All of this occurred while she was still healing from the brain surgery. Cancer cells do not wait for the brain to heal.
Tyra was very weak post surgery. She had to learn to walk again, to feed and dress herself; to do the everyday tasks we all take for granted. The radiation and chemotherapy exacerbated her weakness. Tyra ended up with chemotherapy induced anorexia because of ongoing gastrointestinal issues. She still deals with some of these issues, months post treatment. At the time, she had very little that made her feel good, or relaxed, or at peace. One thing that she did love, and wanted everyday, was her bath time.
The family moved to a new ground floor apartment to aid in Tyra’s recovery. She needed to be, and still has, a wheelchair for support. The apartment had no bathtub. Thankfully a close friend lived upstairs and let Tyra use their tub whenever she wanted, however inconvenient that was for everyone.
The money from this grant went to the bathroom renovation and installation of a bathtub for Tyra. Having a bathtub is something we do not think about as a source of happiness and/or peace for someone, but for Tyra it was. To this day, 20 months post diagnosis, she still has her baths with her bubbles and her bath bombs, and her troubles for that time, just float away. It helps her physically, emotionally and spiritually. She is an exceptional little warrior princess and her family is so very grateful to have received this grant to help Tyra.