A Project for Better Journalism chapter
Editorials and Profiles

Fighting All Monsters

It is quite common for many of us to think of the month October as breast cancer awareness month, right? You are probably familiar with the pink ribbon that represents it. Now, what comes to mind when you think of the month September? Chances are it is unlikely that the gold ribbon of childhood cancer awareness pops into your mind. Unfortunately, childhood cancer does not have enough light shed on it but is far more common than one may think. Cancer.org states, “About 11,050 children in the United States under the age of 15 will be diagnosed with cancer in 2020.” This website also explains that childhood cancer rates have been rising slightly for the past few decades. Imagine having to endure loads of treatment such as chemo, radiation, blood work, surgeries, and so much more at the age of one. The amount of physical and emotional energy cancer takes out of one is unfathomable, let alone a child. Cancer is unknown and scary, to say the least. But with the support of the non-profit organization called FAM (Fighting All Monsters), little ones and their families feel a sense of security and hope when fighting their monsters.

FAM was founded by 32-year-old, former Hollywood insider, Milk Tyson on November 5, 2018, but he found his passion in spreading awareness of childhood cancer in 2013. Milk explains to thriveglobal.com how that year, he was doing a “giveaway” on Twitter to choose someone to walk on the red carpet at Justin Bieber’s Believe movie premiere, (yes Justin Bieber). Milk wanted to invite a young girl with cancer but ended up inviting Meadow Walker, the late daughter of Paul Walker. Throughout the night of the premiere, Milk couldn’t stop thinking about the young girl with cancer, and how he wished he would have invited her too. Later on, Milk ended up having Justin send the young girl a video, and in that moment, Milk explains how he, “entered the world of childhood cancer, never knowing I would never leave.” 

So, how exactly does FAM work? This amazing non-profit organization runs through the social media platforms: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube. Every day, FAM’s incredible volunteer team does everything in their power to help FAMilies in need. They interact with FAMilies, set up fundraisers for them, set up FAM events, and upload posts on social media that introduce and/ or update its followers to the several stories of the brave and beautiful children fighting cancer. Cancer treatments are not cheap, so one could imagine how helpful FAM is in times of need. 

In just two years, this foundation has helped hundreds of FAMilies emotionally, physically, and financially. When asked about how FAM has helped Season Marie, mother of two children who have been diagnosed with cancer, states, “FAM has been a lighthouse in the dark storm called cancer. When two of my children were diagnosed with cancer a year apart, FAM swooped in to offer me so much love and support. They never let me walk alone.” In 2019, FAM was able to make several things possible with the help of generous individuals supporting this foundation. A few of the things accomplished in 2019 include: donated more than 150 iPads to FAMilies and hospitals allowing FAMilies to stay connected, offered a distraction during treatments, and providing access to educational services for children unable to attend school while facing these monsters, set off fireworks as they gave TEN $1,000 Grants for the Fourth of July, kicked off childhood cancer awareness month by paying $30,000 in bills… $1,000 at a time to thirty FAMilies, provided support during the transition to hospice and end of life care, so FAMilies could focus on spending precious moments together, and many, many more life-changing gifts for these FAMilies. FAM even starred on the Ellen show with the rapper Sean Combs, aka Diddy, and got to hang out with David Dobrik and the Vlog Squad!

As one can see, FAM is pretty amazing. As Aristotle once said, “It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light.” You can help be that light for these children who are currently living in the darkest moments. You can join our FAM right now. https://www.facebook.com/joinourfam