Sara Talks about Vines & Vibes
August 26, 2018
Tyler was diagnosed with Stage IV Neuroblastoma at the age of 5, which has a 50% survival rate. After 16 months of treatment consisting of 8 rounds of chemo, 2 surgeries, 3 weeks of radiation and 5 rounds of immunotherapy, he reached remission! He has been in remission for almost a year and is currently on a clinical trial to try to keep the cancer away. In spite of beating the cancer, the treatments have had some long term side effects, but we deal with them and are blessed that he is here. During the past 2 years, music has been a big part of his life. He has a cancer playlist of his favorite songs, which was played daily while he was receiving treatment and continues to be played frequently. It was a good way to start his day and family’s day in an upbeat way, in spite of whatever treatment he is going through. One of his and his parents’ favorite songs is “This too shall pass” by Ok Go. The chorus of: “Let it go, this too shall pass. You know you can’t keep lettin’ it get you down. No, you can’t keep lettin’ it get you down.” was a mantra many days during rough treatments and continues to be during bumpy times. He and his twin brother’s obsession with the Ok Go videos for entertainment, distraction, and education continues. Music has gotten him and our family through some rough times during this cancer journey that is far from over for him.
We recently had the amazing opportunity via Do It For the Love to meet Ok Go, Tyler’s favorite band. We got to sit in on their sound check, and Tyler got to play and sing with the band and see his first rock concert. Ok Go were the nicest rock stars ever and answered the most random detailed questions about the videos from 7 year olds. Ok Go videos are extraordinary works of art, so to see them play live while the videos were shown was a night to remember. One thing the family learned from the performance was that Ok Go does not do things the easy way, in fact, they choose the hardest, most challenging way, which is such a great metaphor for the journey of cancer. The hardest, most challenging, sometime painful and excruciating brings out some beautiful moments and realizations. Tyler gave Ok Go gold ribbon wristbands and Tyler Strong bracelets which they wore during their show. The gold ribbon represents pediatric cancer, so to see Ok Go supporting him and kids like him was giving him and the family hope for more awareness, which leads to research and cures.
Many thanks to Do It For The Love and to Ok Go (Tim, Dan, Damian, and Andy) and their tour director, Craig, for giving us one beautiful moment of our lives and a reminder that music is truly healing for the mind, body, and soul.