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Fight Cancer: Community Yard Sale Will Raise Funds Saturday in Fort Hunt

Tyler, 4, was diagnosed two years ago with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). Photo courtesy of Crabtree family
Tyler, 4, was diagnosed two years ago with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). Photo courtesy of Crabtree family

Fort Hunt resident Tyler Crabtree, 4, diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) two years ago, is doing well today and his family expects him to be done with treatment in June of 2015.

His parents John and Michelle Crabtree and friends have taken on the task the past two years of raising funds in Tyler's name to help others fight similar diseases and supporting the Leukemia Lymphoma Society with awareness of leukemia and other blood cancers and fundraising for LLS.

The Crabtrees and friends are holding a community yard sale Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon to raise funds for LLS. The sale will be held at the Crabtrees' home, at 8221 Stacey Road in Fort Hunt. Can't make the yard sale? People can donate directly to Team Tyler for LLS or send a check to LLS with Team Tyler in the memo to: The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, 5845 Richmond Highway, Suite 800, Alexandria, VA 22303

They hope to get close to their Team Tyler for LLS goal of $20,000 raised for the Leukemia Lymphoma Society.

Tyler was diagnosed with ALL in March 2012. "Unknown to us at the time, my dad had lost a sister in 1949 to childhood leukemia," Michelle said. "My grandmother never talked about it and told me there was a cure for what my Aunt Margaret died from."

The first nine months of treatment were really hard on Tyler, his mother said. "The chemo really took a toll on him. He had problems walking, the steroids made him very moody and he swelled up. He did not want to play, eat or talk," she said. "He became very shy socially and lost nine months of learning from pre-school. He is just now starting to come out of his shell and starting to act like a 4-year old boy."

Tyler will not start kindergarten in the fall, she said. "We are holding him back a year to let him catch up socially and developmentally. We started play therapy for him through the Life with Cancer center and that has made a big difference for Tyler."

Team Tyler has raised funds by running in the San Francisco Nike Women’s Half Marathon in October 2012, raising $5,997 for LLS. In 2013 at the inaugural DC Nike Women’s Half Marathon, raising $4,025 and in the San Francisco Nike Women’s Half Marathon in October 2013 raising $6,420 for LLS. This year, 10 women will run in the 2014 DC Nike Women’s Half Marathon with a fundraising goal of $20,000.  

Other fundraising activities have included a wine tasting and silent auction, bringing in over $3,500.  

A Ledo Pizza night is scheduled for Tuesday at the Falls Church Ledo location. "We are about $2,000 short of our goal and hope our last two events (Saturday's garage sale and the pizza night) bring in great donations to meet our goal," Michelle said.

"I have learned a lot over the last two years, met many wonderful families all going through similar situations," she said. "We have seen great community support for Tyler. At our garage sales, we have had cancer and Leukemia survivors just come by to share their story and offer support. People have bought cups of lemonade for $20 and more, all to support LLS. Strangers have stopped by with donations of items for the sale and donations for LLS."

"It is nice to see the good come from the bad," she said. "I just wish so many children and families did not have to fight Leukemia and other blood cancers."


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