Eve’s Story | Marty Lyons Foundation
How the Marty Lyons Foundation Changed A Life
About This Video Project
This is the story of Eve, a vibrant and outgoing six-year-old who was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Hear how Eve and her family found hope in the Marty Lyons Foundation, an organization that grants second wishes to children with life-threatening illnesses. Follow Eve’s journey and learn how the Marty Lyons Foundation made her wish come true.
Eve was born super healthy, very vibrant, very fun, outgoing, really sweet little girl, and we had no idea. For her sixth birthday, I decided she wanted to cut her hair and donate it to a little girl that needed it, and then a couple of weeks later, she was that little girl that needed it. She was having headaches and throwing up. We ran to the school and scooped her up, and we just got in a cab, and on the way to the ER, she was having seizures, and it was the first time I’d seen that, and I remember carrying her out of the cab to the front entrance of the ER, and she was vomiting, and her eyes were in the back of her head, and it was dead weight, so I was trying to carry her, and it was this one nurse ahead of me that I said, I know I shouldn’t ask you this, do you think it’s bad? And she turned around and looked me right in the eye, and she said yes. I remember when she came back into the room, she looked at me and she goes, I need you to come outside. So after that, I just remember being very surreal. They said it was a brain tumor, it looked pretty advanced, and then they had a neurologist come in, and he said, I’m going to tell you the only advice I have, do not think about tomorrow, and do not think about next week, and do not think about a month from now. Right now, think in the moment, every moment, and only do that. The tumor itself was placed very close to the brain stem, which at that point in time, I didn’t realize that that’s not treatable, and somewhere midway during the surgery, I remember one of the fellows that was in the room operating came up to me, and he goes, normally, I don’t think I’m supposed to do this, but I just wanted to tell you it’s not exactly on the brain stem, and he was like jumping up and down, and I didn’t even realize just how critical that was. We practically lived at Memorial Sloan, and there’s about 25 families that I feel we were very close with and intimate. I can only think of one other little girl that’s still with us today. I feel like none of them should have had to experience this in vain as well, but it gave us perspective, too, on what to be grateful for with Eve’s recovery. We heard about the Marty Lyons Foundation. In passing, a mother at Memorial Sloan mentioned that there was actually an organization out there that granted second wishes, and I nearly did a double take because I, A, had never heard of that, and B, couldn’t believe that there’s an organization that kind of still lent support even after active treatment for a cancer child. Eve is the sweetest soul I’ve ever met. She is so kind-hearted, and she talks so frequently and with such passion about animals and preserving their habitats and how sad she is to know that there are animals that are mistreated, and when she talks about it, she genuinely has, like, tears in her eyes. When you’re little, you don’t really think about, like, what zoos and places like that really do to these creatures, separating families, putting them in small cages, not to mention being usually unnurtured, things like that. When she heard about a wish, she thought about, well, wait a minute, could I go out somewhere and see these animals? She identified a couple places in California, one of them being Lions, Tigers, and Bears, nurtured by nature and, I think, wild wonders. We’ve reached out to them. They were so excited to have Eve there, so we scheduled a wish trip for one week to San Diego for Eve to get the behind-the-scenes experience with her mom and her brother Finian. We got little wild animal suitcase covers, and she had it all packed and organized, like, days in advance, and just the best memories of the actual takeoff of the flight. She was literally shaking and laughing, and it was just sheer excitement. We got off the plane. We couldn’t believe we were there. It was beautiful, and we went to the shore, and it was gorgeous, incredible tide pools with sea urchins, and the kids went and explored in there. And then immediately, we went to Child Beach. Kids were giggling and swimming, and then there’s seals swimming in and out. We drove up to the gate that says Lions, Tigers, and Bears, and it was so exciting. And we went down the drive and entered the parking lot, where Michelle, who had helped orchestrate with the Memorial Lions Foundation, our experience was waiting in the parking lot, jumping up and down, because she was so excited. Surprisingly, most of the animals in all three places were very social, like, she came right up to inspect what was happening. We went to Wild Wonders, and that was unbelievable. Eve was the happiest I’ve ever seen her. It was just magical for her. One of the things that I am most taken by with the Marty Lions Foundation is how, in even our earliest communications, they were so invested in every detail of who Eve was, and they really went out of their way in so many ways to make the experience just sweet and magical and meaningful. When people care and donate to a cause like Marty Lions, it’s immeasurable how much it can impact a family, emotionally, psychologically. Such beautiful things that will continue on. People are so grateful. I’m extremely grateful for what they do. It makes me feel very special, very happy. What’s your purpose in life? Is your purpose in life to live in the big house and drive the nice car? No. Your purpose in this life is to make it a little bit better for those that follow. A winner in the game of life is the person that gives of themselves so others can grow. And if you want to change the world, and you financially can do it, do it.
To learn more: https://www.martylyonsfoundation.org