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!
I have been doing so much thinking lately about the many tragic childhood losses I have witnessed as a result of brain tumors. After seeing my dear friends lose their 3 year old son Crosby to an undetected brain tumor, I felt incredibly defeated. Almost like all of a sudden I was putting up my hands in defeat….waving the white flag to cancer. I was talking to my mom on the phone and in confounded tears I admitted that I don’t know if it is possible to “stop” or “cure” or “early detect” brain tumors.
I am keeping this post short and sweet today, but I got asked yesterday as I so often do, “How do you stay strong?” I deeply thought it over and wondered. How do I stay strong? I feel like I could shut myself out from the world and everyone would understand. But, I have this inexplicable feeling of love and support from Hayes. He wants me to push through the tears and pain. He wants me to keep loving. Keep trying. Keep trusting. Keep believing and keep growing. Read More
Today is May 1….the first day of Brain tumor awareness month. While I don’t intend to celebrate brain tumors, I don’t want to harp on depressing facts. We know brain tumors are depressing and devastating and I will share facts, but my goal is also to show that there is always hope and there is always a silver lining in this journey of life. During the month of May, every penny donated to the HayesTough Foundation will be donated to a brain tumor warriors family. Let’s spread kindness! Let’s spread hope!
My sweet friend Bianca Merkley is an incredibly talented singing artist and she has graciously given her talents to this cause. Her song “HOPE” is available on Bandcamp. You can download the song and choose the amount you want to donate. Whether it is 50 cents or more, every penny goes to a family in need. What I love about this song is that it’s intended to provide hope in all times of trial. Whether it is financially difficult times, marital troubles, miscarriage or cancer…we all have a story, and we can all use hope.
So gift this song to someone that needs that silver lining or gift this to your mom for Mother’s Day! Or gift a HayesTough shirt to someone that loves awesome shirts 😉! Let’s raise more money than we have before! And let’s gift hope to a family in need! We are #hayesarmy.
Link to purchase Bianca’s song.
Link to Donate.
Link to buy HayesTough merchandise.
I woke up this morning feeling anxious and that all too familiar sick feeling. I had dreamt of Hayes all night, but not in a happy way. In my dream, Hayes was gone still, but I was going to the state prison to meet his killer….cancer. I had personified cancer in my dream and the hatred I felt for him was unlike anything I have known. It was as if all of a sudden I was able to direct all of the unfocused and figurative “Cancer took my child” anger at the “man” that killed my child. In my dream I was so scared to meet him and to finally see his face. I knew a piece of glass would be between us and in my dream I remember feeling a frustration that I wouldn’t have the ability to jump across the table and strangle the life out of the man that tortured my baby. But, I also felt relief that the glass would be there too because if I was being honest, cancer was the scariest man I had ever met. Read More
I remember this one particular evening during treatment. I went to the Ronald McDonald Room, a large room on the 3rd floor of Primary Children’s Hospital where food is donated by organizations and restaurants for parents of sick children. Hayes had gone to bed and dinner was being served. I made my way down there so that I could have something besides cafeteria food. You walk into this place and no one is smiling…it is SO depressing. But I was desperate for some non-hospital food so I got my dinner plate and made my way to a long table with 3 other parents sullenly sitting in silence. Read More
I remember the day Hayes was given an official diagnosis so well. I was upstairs in my closet getting dressed when my phone rang. Read More
It was two years ago, right before the 5K and the babies first birthday. We were finishing up Hayes’ second round of chemo and I was still feeling naively optimistic. All I cared about was getting out of the hospital for the 5K and celebrating the babies. Hayes was sleeping in his hospital crib and I was sitting on the fold out plastic couch in my daily “uniform”….sweats. We were in the corner room of the cancer unit. There was a double door to get into our room and you couldn’t hear a sound. We were completely closed off from the world in our little corner that overlooked the Salt Lake Valley. Read More
Earlier last year, in February 2017, I woke up to a direct message in my Instagram mailbox. I get lots of messages and I really try to respond to each one because so many are from parents of newly diagnosed children and I want to help them as much as I can. Waking up to a new message was not unusual, but seeing who it was from was definitely shocking. It was a message from Rachel Parcell. In the Instagram world, Rachel is a big deal! I had been following her for a very long time. Here is what it said: Read More
The trip had been in the works for 2 years. Although we were dreading leaving our kids, we have had so many amazing experiences in Europe, so to say we were looking forward to our 15 days in Spain is an understatement. Steve speaks Spanish so we were so excited to completely dive into the culture! The trip was set to start in Barcelona for three days. Read More