The Hultink family is collecting toys for Child Life at the Stollery Hospital to honour a very special day: Tyler Hultink’s Birthday.
Tyler Hultink was diagnosed with a brain tumour in December of 2020 and was only 13-year-old at the time of his diagnosis. The tumour was later found to be cancerous and after 18 months of battling cancer, Hultink passed away in April of 2022 at the age of 15.
Nearly a year later, the family from Lacombe is looking forward to hosting Ty’s 1st Annual Giving Back to show more children and their families the same love and care that they received when Tyler was ill.
“Child Life was just a huge connection for our family to many things. Horsepower for Hope is connected with Child Life and they organized a private car show for Ty. They had rides for all of our family, Lamborghinis, and all the crazy sports cars that kids love. They always just provided Ty with something to look forward to. They sent him home with Lego, Lego for the siblings, and gift cards when he would get pokes and just stuff like that. They're were just a blessing to our family for sure,” said Deb Hultink, Tyler’s Mother.
Following Ty’s brain surgery, he stayed at the Stollery Hospital for two weeks but after that, he and his family had regular short visits for cancer treatment.
The family hopes the fundraiser will be good way to memorialize Tyler’s giving spirit.
“His brother wanted these basketball shoes and I didn't think he needed them. One day, Ty asked if my husband, Mike could bring him and Gabe into Red Deer and that was the normal thing we did just to get them out of the house. Ty brought Gabe to the sports store bought him these shoes. One time he did the same kind of thing for me and had bought me a necklace which is probably the most treasure thing that I have. He made skateboards and gave some of those away and he was just a giving, generous kid,” said Deb.
For Ty’s 1st Annual Giving Back, the Hultink’s are hoping to collect Lego as well as other items that might brighten the spirits of other families dealing with cancer or illness.
“He's a huge Lego fan and we still have tons and tons of Lego of his that he was given and had bought. He always dreamed of having the Lego Lamborghini and someone had donated the Lego Lamborghini and as soon as our social worker met Ty, she was like ‘oh my goodness, I know exactly who that is going to.’ I think they’re worth $500.00. It's a large Lego set, and they gave that to Ty and that was just huge for him. We just hope to bring joy into a kid’s life that obviously needs it,” explained Deb.
However, any donation will be a welcome addition to the Hultink’s special delivery. The toys can be donated at Eastside Eatery located in Lacombe, Happy Camper located in Blackfalds, or to a bin located outside the Hultink’s home at 46 Pickwick Lane. Monetary donations can be made online directly to the Stollery but donors will need to specify that it is for Child Life.
The Hultink’s intend to deliver the donations on February 7 which is Tyler’s Birthday. The toy bins will be out in the community until February 6.