Followers of the site may remember the story of Tyler Hallsey that we did in early September!
In February of this year, young Tyler was diagnosed with Pontine Glioma – a tumor surrounding the brain stem. On August 25th, he had the opportunity to attend a Steelers pre-season game with his family, courtesy of former Steeler and current ESPN analyst Merril Hoge. It was a great night for Tyler, who also had the opportunity to meet and pose with Big Ben, Brett Keisel and Troy Polamalu.
From Tyler’s father about his son’s meeting with Ben:
“Since that day in February we have been Team Whatever It Takes.
I think Tyler’s approach to fighting his brain tumor and Ben’s approach on the field are the same. You do whatever it takes. You do what others may not want to do or aren’t willing to do, in order to get the results you want. Sometimes that path is hard or perilous, but you do what has to be done. It’s inspiring to witness, especially when it comes from your son.
It would be impossible for me to properly express the amount of gratitude I have in my heart for Ben, and his willingness to take the time to meet Tyler. He loved every minute of it. Tyler is known for his constant smile, but this smile was even big for him! He was beyond happy.
A little while after we met Ben and had photos taken with him, we were in the tunnel waiting to see Troy Polamalu. As the team came out for final warm ups, Ben saw Tyler again and said, “Hey! It’s my man Tyler!”. He remembered his name and that made the day even more special. Tyler was in heaven. I know it was a brief moment for Ben, but those brief moments will bring a lifetime of joy to Tyler and my entire family.
I hope Ben knows how much that means to me as a father. This has been a terribly trying mountain to climb…it’s tough, but moments like these keep you going. They give you a much-needed second wind. As a father, I try to do everything in my power to ease Tyler’s burden, I would take it all if I could. As much as I try, moments like these are far beyond anything I could ever do. This was Ben pausing to help a little boy he didn’t even know, just for the sake of lifting him. No cameras, no press, just Ben and Tyler. While my gratitude is expressed with these two simple words, thank you, please know there is much more emotion and gratitude behind them. It was a black & gold dream come true!” -– Chris Hallsey
It continues to be a tough battle for this amazing and strong young man. But he was all smiles recently…
Justin Simons, a family friend, wanted to share a photo of a very surprised and excited Tyler holding a football signed and sent to him personally by Big Ben.
“Mr. Roethlisberger sent a signed football to a young friend of mine that is going through a horrible battle with brain cancer. We wanted to tell him ‘thank you’. Tyler Hallsey is a brave 8th grade boy who loves the Steelers and Big Ben!
And to Steeler Nation, we are all just so thankful for the care, prayers and support!” — Justin
Please keep lifting this young man up in your prayers, Steeler Nation!
You can keep up with Tyler on his Facebook page here.