For the last three weeks—since receiving word that their son's cancer has returned—the Campbell family of Pawling has seen an outpouring of compassion.
In August 2010, doctors diagnosed Ty Louis Campbell, then almost 3, with a rare and aggressive form of brain cancer, one that looked nearly impossible to beat. But for months, it looked like that's exactly what was happening, that Ty was miraculously improving.
Last month, Cindy and Lou Campbell received devastating news. Doctors told them that their 4-year-old's tests showed progressive lepto-meningial disease, which is cancer in the spinal fluid. The diagnosis was followed by a heartbreaking realization: There are no more treatment options for Ty.
At 7 p.m. Thursday, thousands of people will drop what they are doing and think of Ty on his birthday. They'll pray, light candles and hope for healing. A Facebook event called the "Ty Louis Campbell Birthday Chain" shows nearly 4,000 attendees, with more than 29,000 invited.
Little Ty, who has earned the nickname SuperTy amongst family and friends, has been home since the latest diagnosis. He's been sleeping more, and his parents—who spoke to Patch at length in July 2011—are savoring each moment with him. Cindy keeps folks updated on Ty's progress in a moving blog that she updates every day or so.
One of Ty's most recent struggles is paralysis, due to long-term effects of the radiation he received to kill the cancer. The development was an unexpected setback for a family that's been on an emotional rollercoaster—juggling hospital trips, physical rehabilitation, ever-changing medications and much more—for years.