CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - September 6th:
Two years ago, this is how we introduced TJ Anderson:
“TJ lives in Charlotte. His family are our neighbors. Chemo is his life. Five years old and his bald head rips at your heart and the plea from his parents asking for more research and funding and dear God a cure… all that comes from life knowledge they’re unlucky enough to live.
It’s not always easy to tell these stories. TJ Anderson is one of the particularly tough ones. He was diagnosed with a nasty form of liver cancer this past April. He needs a whole new organ.”
After that, TJ’s story stayed with us. We rejoiced when a liver became available Thanksgiving-eve, even shouting it on our 11pm show that night. (WATCH that 2017 clip here; kinda crazy to go back and see >> http://bit.ly/2jPz4qs.) Our community rallied, hoping the transplant would work.
It was horrible when doctors said it didn’t. TJ’s liver cancer was too much, Months later in early 2018, TJ died.
But, that’s not where his story ends.
TJ’s parents, Travis and Anna, never stopped believing a cure could be found. Soon after TJ’s death – almost immediately, actually – they came by the station to say they were starting a non-profit in their son’s name called TJ's Team Foundation.
The website address is brilliant: www.morethanacape.org.
Along with TJ’s sister Patricia, the family continues to work to “never have another family feel the loss and the pain that they have endured.”
That’s where you guys come into play. One of the biggest fundraisers last year was a golf tournament. This year is the second annual “Teeing off Against Pediatric Cancer” set for next Saturday, September 14th. Starts at 8:30am at the Highland Creek Golf Club. Besides golf, there will be raffles, auctions and BBQ.
MORE INFORMATION >> https://tinyurl.com/TJsGolf
Things in the pediatric cancer world don’t just SEEM unfair, they ARE unfair. It is a huge accomplishment and statement when a family who goes through the nightmare pediatric cancer creates, tries to turn the tide to make their own drop in the bucket for other families put in the same position.
Here's the thing… I was planning on writing about TJ today no matter what. Then a couple days ago, his dad Travis sent something that I think REALLY needs to be shared.
Stay tuned tomorrow for that. It goes along with what you just read. Raw and real.
Thank you, Travis and Anna, for all you continue to do.
**NOTE**: These September #MollysKids stories highlight REAL kids in our community who battle. The stories are meant to spread and educate about pediatric cancer, and have done so every September since 2013. As something unique this year, I also encourage you to comment below with a message for the family. In this case, TJ’s family. It’s like sending a handwritten card, only easier. They won’t think you’re a stranger. In fact, you’re support. They want you to read the facts and would love to know their efforts have registered. So let them know you hear them. The Good, the Bad and the Always Real. Right? Thank you.
*Editor’s note: This is about one of #MollysKids, children WBTV Anchor Molly Grantham follows closely on her Facebook page. It was first published there, which is why it’s written in a personal way. For years Molly has followed hundreds of kids with uphill medical battles. Find this story and updates on all #MollysKids here.