Fairfield Twp. resident Kyler Bradley was a 10-year-old boy who battled a rare and aggressive form of brain cancer known as DIPG.
He fought to overcome the disease but passed away in April 2016. On Thursday, family, friends and the members of the foundation that grew after his death gathered at the Liberty Center campus of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital to make a special presentation.
The Kyler Strong movement is made up of community members who want to honor his memory and help the fight to against DIPG. The family on Thursday donated $46,000 to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and made the announcement that a specialty license plate has been approved by Gov. John Kasich to honor Kyler.
Rebecca Bradley, Kyler’s mother, was filled with emotion as she thanked the many members of the Tyler Strong Foundation who showed up to support her.
“With what we are donating today … the total amount given in about a year-and-a-half (is) $106,000,” she said, fighting back tears.
“The community has just come together and given $20 here and $20 there to make all of this happen. There isn’t a huge corporate sponsor but just every day people in our community who care. This is a big family.”
Dr. Maryam Fouladi of Children’s was Kyler’s doctor and has been leading the charge into researching and finding a cure for DIPG. She attended Thursday’s presentation and also was filled with many emotions as the foundation presented the check.
“We hope to one day be standing here and talking about the cure for DIPG,” Fouladi said. “I do always have the feeling that we failed because Kyler didn’t make it, but this family and this group of people are very inspiring, and we will keep working to find a cure.”
She added that it has been a very unique experience to see so many family, friends and community members pull together and get stronger in their efforts to defeat a disease and honor a person like Kyler.
“They are all very special and very inspiring,” Fouladi said.
State Sen. Bill Coley, R-Liberty Twp. was on hand with a copy of what the new specialty plate will look like, and he said the legislature was honored to find a way to salute Kyler and to add a way to help the fight against DIPG. Proceeds from sales of the plate will be donated to research.
Rebecca thanked Coley and noted that the plate design, which features Kyler dawning a cape like a super-hero flying over the words “DIPG - no cure,” was very appropriate.
“He always wanted to be a super-hero,” she said. “And he is now helping to find a cure for this disease.”
Asked what it will be like when she sees one of the specialty plates on a car driving by, Rebecca said, “I will just burst into tears.”