It is with a heavy heart that we share the news that Dylan, as his mom wrote, was "called home" on May 25th, 2021. Dylan was our 4th ever Recipient of peer support in January of 2016 when he was in the 7th Grade fighting cancer and a gang of bullies at the same time. Since delivering his 325 Friend Mail letters, we have followed his journey at Dylansuperstrong Purple Warriors against Ewing Sarcoma where you can now write your condolences. Dylan was just 13 when he was battling the bullies who would taunt him for the physical effects of his cancer treatment, or hit him in the places where cancer made his bones brittle and vulnerable. Over the last 5 years, we saw him survive one recurrence of cancer after another, always keeping his sense of humor, fighting spirit and intense love of family. He was so proud when he got his Driver's License, his first job and his first girlfriend - who he wed in a ceremony last week after he was sent home from the hospital with the news of untreatable lesions on his brain and spine. Our most heartfelt condolences go to his young wife, mom and dad, siblings and family and friends. Rest in peace, sweet Dylan. You are forever a part of our Friend Strong Family. We love you.
Thanks for checking in! WE DELIVERED!
DYLAN received 325 LETTERS of peer support on 6/1/2016!
Dylan's "Friend Mail" was the largest delivery yet for the Be A Friend Project at 325 letters from K-12 KIDS & TEENS from across the country, CT to CA! We graduated from a tote to a big bin for the delivery. We are so proud of our friends and so proud of Dylan for inspiring all the support as he fights both cancer and bullies.
DYLAN SAYS "THANKS":
"I wanted to thank everybody who took the time out of their day to send me something. That was very nice of you and I loved everything that you guys sent me." ~DYLAN
DYLAN'S SURPRISE DELIVERY:
"DYLAN SUPER STRONG"
Imagine being in 7th grade and
having to fight cancer and a gang of bullies,
all at the same time! :(
Thirteen-year-old Dylan has been battling cancer since he was 9 years old. He was diagnosed in 2012 with Stage 4 Ewings Sarcoma, or bone cancer, and is right now undergoing yet another round of chemo treatment which will continue indefinitely and makes him feel even sicker. This courageous boy who likes to rap has tagged himself on social media as #DylanSuperStrong and we concur!!!
Every day, Dylan fights pain and loneliness. He walks with a severe limp because a large tumor destroyed his pelvic bone and he has "horrible" nerve pain in his feet. Just last summer, part of his right lung was removed after doctors discovered a nodule. Because of his illness, Dylan has not been able to attend school for 4 years and is homeschooled. Chemo and radiation treatments have lowered his immune system and made his bones brittle.
Dylan and his family moved to a new neighborhood in New Jersey last year where the family unfortunately became the target of gang violence after the parents' refusal to allow drugs and criminal activities near their yard and around their 5 children. Attempts to manage this through responsible reporting to authorities and discussions with other parents has not stopped the bullies from reaching Dylan when they get the chance.
The boys and girls that are bullying Dylan are 15 and 16 years old and sometimes hide their identities by covering their faces with scarves. They have shown up at his home to call him out to fight, saying,"Hit him, hit him! Knock him on his hip where the tumor is so he can't get back up" and taunting him with ugly words like "You don't have cancer, you're just fat."
The family has installed cameras on their property and padlocked their fence gate. Dylan does not leave the yard except to be driven to the hospital for treatments or when family takes him somewhere special like to go fishing or help dad work an odd job. The parents can not afford to move away from this situation. Sometimes, they need help just to buy food for their family. With so much isolation between the cancer and bullies, Dylan does not have even one friend to share laughs or play with. He used to love to run and play outdoors, ride his bike and quads.
Dylan recently told his mom, "What is the sense of fighting (the cancer), Mom, no one besides you guys want me here... what kind of life is that?"
Dylan is at risk for giving up his fight, his will, to live. TIME IS URGENT! REACH OUT AND BE-A-FRIEND TO DYLAN!