TEAM TYLER Livestrong Bands are here!!!


Our lime-green TEAM TYLER Livestrong bands have arrived!  Thanks Uncle Jimmy, Debbie, Anthony, and Kathryn for you generous gift and for bringing our TEAM TYLER unity to new heights!

We’ve got A LOT of these things, and I know we’ve had some requests already.  If you’d like to request some bands, shoot us an email at and let us know the best place to send them.  Snail-mail, hand delivery, or carrier pigeon, whatever it takes, we’re gonna do our best to get these out to you guys ASAP.


Survival of the Fittest


Fitness is key for an immune system boost and keeping healthy organ function. The oncologists recommend as much exercise as possible. Tyler is taking this to the limit. As immuno-compromised chemo patients must avoid crowded gyms, Tyler is taking full advantage of the great outdoors to get his heart pumping. Sun is warm, grass is green. A beautiful late afternoon at the UCSD track.

Treatment Update: Day 5

“Keep your face always upward toward the sunshine – and shadows will fall behind you.”

-Walt Whitman

I could get really philosophical right now. My family says I have a knack for the wishy-washy (they use a more vibrant term), but what I have witnessed this past week is such a flood of love and support from friends and family, that I cannot help but feel slapped in the face on how I was handling our gift of life. Two weeks ago I had a definite list of priorities. Figure out my job situation, train to be faster (or fast as, let’s be realistic here) Tyler on bike,  train my dog to stop barking at select people he doesn’t like, train my dog to not bark at animals on tv, train my dog to not cry when his armpits are touched, and follow Ms. Leigh’s assigned diet to keep me healthy. Easy enough, but enough to keep me busy.

Then we got slapped. All of us. Every single one of you. I know you feel it. What the heck is going on here? Why Tyler? Why the most healthy, strong, beautiful, kind, loving, hard-working, passionate person we know? God knows. A few weeks ago my coworker was diagnosed with cancer, and asked me, ‘What did I do, why am I being punished?’. This is not a punishment, I told her, you can’t see it now, you might not see it for a very long time, but this is a lesson. Her eyes got big and I saw the wheels turning, ‘Maybe this will bring my family closer?’.

Maybe. I said.

So here we are, and my heart is open, and your hearts are open, and I have played team sports my whole life, but I have never felt a camaraderie like this. My priorities have changed, and at the top of my list: FAMILY, FRIENDS. Make my relationships count. This is all we have. This is what we are here for.

Tyler with my soccer star cousin Hamid

So Team Tyler, without further delay, I have the current update for our Hero.

He is kicking cancer in the heart, literally. So far the most uncomfortable side effects are coming from the steroids. Hiccups, irritability, difficulty sleeping, an overall ‘weird’ feeling. Sound harmless but they are magnified in this 10 x 10 room. Cell counts are currently still normal, but are expected to drop significantly in the next few days. That is when we should expect weakness and an increased risk for infection. His spirit is strong and his eyes are bright. So far, so great.

Bracelets are not in yet, I will post as soon as they are delivered.  And, special thanks to my lovely cousin Kathryn Kopczynski for sharing the quote at the top–Tyler loves Whitman  🙂

Knowing What you Need

If you don’t know me well, allow me to introduce you to Tyler’s sister. If you should know one thing about me that shoots straight to the core it’s that I’m an over-analyzer (if that’s a noun). I could over-analyze Mary having a little lamb: why is her fleece so white? Do you think the lamb followed Mary all over the place because she was insecure about something? Should I ask Mary how she feels about all this…? Ugh.

One thing I’ve learned this week is the importance of knowing what you need; something Tyler knows without even trying. Monday, on my long trip home (an unexpected 7 hour delay in Salt Lake City… I know that wasn’t time-wasted, as I directed some Mormon prayers out to San Diego 😉 kidding… I was wondering what I might say to Tyler right before chemo: Should I make a joke? Should I tell him about the overly-eager-to-engage-in-conversation, overwhelming salesman I sat next to on the plane? I know, I’ll tell him about all of the older, frailer people I work with who go through chemotherapy and who are now living vibrant lives! Continue reading

Team Tyler – get ready to unite!

I received this message today from my family in Milwaukee, I am super pumped on this idea and I hope you all are too:

Hi Tash,

Kathryn came up with a really great idea for Team Tyler. There are 600 lime green “TEAM TYLER” rubber wrist bands coming your way — in about 7 days. You can hand these out to  your family and friends to symbolize that we are all a united front under “TEAM TYLER”.  Lance Armstrong started this bracelet movement to increase awareness of the disease and solicit support. Lance beat it and so will Tyler. Please mail us a dozen so that we can also wear the bracelet and be on the team!

We’re thinking of you all!
Aunt Debby, Kathryn, Uncle Jim and Anthony

Stay tuned Team Tyler – bracelets are on the way! A BIG HUGE THANK YOU to Aunt Debby, Kathryn, Uncle Jimbo and Anthony. Great idea guys, we love you!

The Itch

I have a story to tell you. . .it’s from “Gently Lead” . . . a great little book for children . . . exposing them to God

Itchy  (could be called cancer)

Child:  I have this itch on my knee.  It’s bothering me.  I can’t get to sleep with all this itching.

Parent:  Well, it’s time for prayers now.  Maybe if you can stop thinking about it you won’t notice it.  Try thinking about something else.

Child:  But I can’t stop thinking about it.  It itches!  How can you think of something else if you itch?

Continue reading

A roller-derby tribute from Heidi


Heidi Tribute

A tribute from Heidi Hassler

I skated my bout last night for Tyler, and attached are a couple pics. I customized my eye black (vs. my mouth guard) for Tyler.  Dan was worried that if I painted my mouth guard, I may seize out on the track from paint poisoning and I figured that would be no bueno.  We’re sending all of our love & support for Tyler’s fight against NHL.

–Heidi (aka Hassle-Her) and Dan