Tyler Schmidt (10) is a fourth-grade student at Tiffany Creek Elementary School in Boyceville. Last winter, Tyler fell on the ice and had began suffering from headaches. Eventually, Tyler had an MRI in order to rule out a concussion. While the doctors ruled out a concussion, they informed Tyler’s parents (Jeremy and Connie) that they found tumors on Tyler’s brain and spine. Since the discovery, Tyler has had one tumor on his brain and two tumors on his spine removed.
The type of cancer that Tyler has is rare and there have been no known cases of success, making Tyler a test case for how the cancer is treated. In addition to cancer, Tyler also has Gardner Syndrome, which predisposes him to polyps that may or may not be cancerous. This combination makes the treatment process more difficult.
Tyler was admitted to the Mayo Hospital in Rochester where he underwent six weeks worth of radiation in May. The sessions were five days per week and there were thirty-one treatments in total. In order for Tyler’s dad to remain by his side, he had to take a leave of absence from his place of employment. Eventually, Jeremy was forced to quit his job.
While Tyler has been exposed to an incredible challenge, he continues to meet it head on. Tyler’s passion is football. Jeremy shared a story of how Tyler even insisted that his doctors clear him in order for him to play football. Tyler plays football in the Junior Bulldog Football Program in Boyceville and lines up as a center. Tyler has become the epitome of responsibility, energy and enthusiasm; pushing himself to become a better football player every practice.
Currently, Tyler is taking a pill in place of undertaking chemotherapy. His most recent MRI provided good news for the Schmidt family as no tumors were found. However, if any tumors were found, Tyler will not be allowed to undergo radiation for approximately three more years – based on the impact that the last round had on his young, vulnerable body.
On Friday, September 28, Tyler and his entire family will be guests of the Boyceville Bulldog Football team for their 2012 Homecoming Game. While Tyler’s parents will get to attend the game – Tyler will serve as an honorary water boy, becoming a member of the Bulldog Varsity Football Team for a night. We are hopeful that this opportunity will help draw attention to the plight as well as provide Tyler an opportunity to be a significant member of a team that he cheers on, on a weekly basis.
The Boyceville Community Schools Athletic Department would like to help generate funds for the Schmidt family by conducting “Touchdowns for Tyler” in order to help them offset some of their financial difficulties.
Individuals can pledge money in one of two ways –
1. Pledge a dollar amount for each touchdown the Bulldogs score during the Homecoming Game.
(Ex. Patrick Gretzlock – $5/TD; Bulldogs score 4TDs = $20)
2. Donate a flat rate to give to the Schmidt Family.
If you would like to pledge or donate to “Touchdowns for Tyler” please email Patrick Gretzlock. A follow-up email will be sent to everyone who pledges/donates on Monday, October 1 with totals.
Hopefully, we can all help score a “Touchdown for Tyler” and his family.