A Tribute to Timothy Michael Toomey
My son Timothy was a joy from the minute he was brought into our lives. I know every child is a gift, but he was so much more than that. He always had a way of making people smile. He graduated from high school while fighting this evil coward called cancer. He never wanted anybody to know that he had cancer; he just wanted a normal teenager's life. Skateboarding was always a big interest, and he was great at it. He thought he could make millions at it - typical teenager. He loved to be outdoors and always wanted to help anyone who needed a leg up. He signed up for college, but cancer robbed him of that dream. While his friends went off to different colleges, he never complained. We miss him more than words can say.
Timmy was a friend to many and is missed by so many. He always made people smile. He was a normal teenager with lots of friends and laughter. Timmy was a joy to teach - it was fun to teach him to drive. Little did I know that these special moments were coming to an end. He loved to work with me and was great with electronics. I am a union carpenter, so computers did not come easy. So the teacher became the student when it came to Timmy. He was so patient teaching me.
When we would stay at all these hospitals, Timmy always wanted to share with others. They would play video games all day to take their minds off of their surroundings. I never thought I would be thankful for video games, but my son could be a teenager still despite all those tubes that were keeping the cancer at bay. While there, we met a young lady named Amber - what an angel. At first they were shy around each other, but after two years of fighting side by side, they were connected at the hip. Amber was exactly the same age as Timmy, and both had osteosarcoma in their legs. My son lost his leg to this ruthless disease, and hers was saved. They would race down the hallway at the hospital in wheel chairs. Timmy loved this girl!! She lost her battle seven months before Timmy, and it scared the hell out of him, but he fought like a true warrior right to the end.
The Sarcoma Journey
When my angel was told that he had osteosarcoma, we said, "Sorry but you are wrong! Look at this kid - he's as healthy as a horse." Little did we know what a killer was lurking over my son. He saw the evil side of cancer for almost three years. We traveled to many cancer centers. At first we thought our hospital could handle it, but I really recommend that patients go to cancer centers - they deal with this daily and offered a better understanding of what we were about to encounter. Timmy had the bone and a lot of the surrounding tissue removed from his leg. They assured us they got all the cancer, and we believed that we made the right decision. Six months later, the cancer came back in the same leg where they did the surgery. We had to think quickly, and Timmy and his oncologists thought we should amputate. What a nightmare for all us! Timmy told us that he was willing to try the experimental treatments so other people would not suffer and to help find a cure. He was so brave.
This disease is beyond evil and preys on the young, and we need to stand together and protect our children. How many children must die for us to pull all of our resources together to save them? If you can help and you don't, then shame on you. Just try and envision a child that relies on adults to protect and provide for them. I am only one of many who have had their hearts ripped from them. My son fought like a warrior and I wanted to go after him to make sure he was protected in heaven, but that door only swings one way and I have two other sons that need me here. So Timmy, you will have to wait for me.
This is the most difficult part - explaining how this affected Timmy's family and friends. His Mother and I, our lives feel empty and lost without him. Unless you lost your child words cannot explain the pain. His brothers are in shock. Not to have their oldest brother around seems impossible to believe. I have tried to move on, but I fall apart daily. It has been two weeks since I watched him take his last breath. I tried to save my son but failed him.
Timmy Toomey, I love you more than words can ever say. Mom and I are lost without you.
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