A few months ago, an on screen legend, Bill Phipps, donated $125,000 to the HayesTough foundation. As you can imagine, I have had overwhelming feelings of gratitude toward this man I never met and a feeling of needing to carry on his incredible legacy. So Steve and I came up with a plan. Kind of a huge, massive plan. To give a grant check to a family affected by childhood cancer somewhere/anywhere in the world! It will be called the HayesTough Prince Charming Grant in honor of the fact that Bill was the voice of the iconic Prince Charming in Disney’s Cinderella. The plan is for the entire Tate Party of 8 to present a grant check in person to the family in need and then we will all celebrate and everything will be right in the world!
So, you all have been nominating, and nominating and nominating. I have heard so many heartbreaking, empowering and beautiful stories of brave warriors all over the world. The response has been amazing. There have been 719 nominations alone on Instagram….that isn’t including Facebook or Email or Direct Messages.
But….you want to know the truth? I keep asking myself how can we possibly choose? I have had moments throughout this nomination process where I have been brought to tears. I remember those feelings of desperation…of pleading for someone to recognize my boy. There are hundreds pleading with that same desperation and I am brought to tears so often. The childhood cancer journey is heartbreaking and the truth is, 99% of the people nominated for this grant will be denied and go back to their child’s daily dose of chemo and protocols to feel forgotten. I don’t want them to feel forgotten!
The HayesTough Foundation was started to honor my son. Hayes may no longer physically be with us, but I refuse to let him be forgotten. Just as I read the stories of each nominated child, I feel connected and can’t let them be forgotten either!
Right now, there are thousands upon thousands of children fighting for their lives. Thousands upon thousands of parents desperately pleading for their child to make it out the other side. The only way we can help them is if we also get your help. That is the the shitty part to me….having to beg, having to grovel….it is extremely humbling. And although $125,000 seems like a lot, it minutely touches the need.
But, the fact that I need your help and can’t do it alone is also the incredibly beautiful part. That invisible thread that connects each of us…I hope you feel it tug when I tell you about these kids. Kids like 17 year old Ashtyn in Seattle who is fighting for her life in the ICU battling leukemia for the third time in her sweet, all too short life. Children like Charlie in England who desperately needs to come to America because it is the only place that has a doctor that refuses to give up on him in his cancer fight. And lastly, for a baby like Vincent who is fighting a rare pediatric brain tumor in Pennsylvania at such a tiny age and has beautiful eyes that look so familiar, like Hayes. Do you feel that? That is the thread!
Guys, these stories don’t even begin to touch the nominations. How do we possibly choose? I can’t not help! But it breaks my heart that our donation can’t spread across the world! I would help every single family if I could and deliver the checks with a personal hug from me, but I can’t. I will continue to try though. With all that I am and with all the purpose that I have found from Hayes. With childhood cancer awareness month right around the corner, let’s raise as much as we can! I can’t do it alone!