The Tyler Foundation’s Rhinestone Cowboy fundraiser on 1 October attracted 369 people and raised about ¥36 million to help children with cancer and their families.
The NPO’s President Kim Forsythe said part of the proceeds — along with support from Servcorp and other sponsors—would go towards expanding to many more hospitals in Japan its latest programme, Beads of Courage — which decreases illness-related distress; increases the use of positive coping strategies; enables children to find meaning in illness, and restores a sense of self in children coping with serious illness.
Children are given beads to mark each stage of their treatment. “But these are not rewards,” she said. “The beads symbolize the child’s courage and honour their journey. They empower the child by giving meaning to a ﬁght that is often hard for a child and their family to articulate. The beads are the child’s personal story — and these are very powerful stories indeed.”
The Tyler Foundation was started in 2006 by Forsythe and Mark Ferris in memory of their son, Tyler, who was diagnosed with infant acute lymphoblastic leukaemia before he was one month old.
The NPO is changing the approach to patient support by making life better for children fighting the disease and improving their survival odds with a mission to improve quality of life during treatment and ensure a smooth and successful transition to normal life after treatment through four major programs:
- Shine On! Beads of Courage
- Shine On! Counselling and Support
- Shine On! House (Support Facility)
- Shine On! Therapy Dog