Gifting: Tyson Meets Garth Brooks
At SGF, we receive requests regularly that tug at our heartstrings. We still happened to be in the office late one evening in July of 2020 when we received a request with more urgency than usual. It was from Cindy Nadeau, grandmother of Tyson Waid, briefly explaining Tyson’s history and current condition.
Tyson had a stroke in utero that caused some complications that he was working through when he was diagnosed with a rare cancer, DIPG, in July of 2019. Unfortunately, this cancer has a zero percent survival rate. The doctors had only given him 9 months to live and he had already surpassed their expectations by three months.
The note explained that Tyson was obsessed with Garth Brooks and his music (“Callin’ Baton Rouge” in particular), and how amazing it would be for Tyson to have the chance to meet him. Cindy knew this request would be next to “impossible” to make happen but luckily we don’t believe in impossible at SGF, so we went to work.
We knew meeting in person would not be an option due to it being in the middle of a pandemic, but we were determined to make something happen. Our co-founders sent an open message to Garth via video on social media asking to get in touch with him. In less than a week, the video had over 32k views and people were reaching out endlessly with connections in hopes to make this meeting possible. Through our amazing SGF community, we were able to connect with someone who knew Garth Brook’s agent and share Tyson’s story with them.
Before we knew it, Garth Brooks himself was FaceTiming Tyson, chatting and showing him around his land on his tractor. He told Tyson and his family to call him anytime and sent Tyson a sweet package with lots of products from his favorite music artist. Garth also gave Tyson a shoutout and played a song just for him on one of his Facebook Live concerts.
We also wanted to gift Tyson an item that would benefit him and his family. They requested a Special Tomato Sitter with a mobile base and an activity tray.
Here is what Maggie, Tyson’s mom, had to say:
“We would love to give a huge shout out to the Specially Gifted Foundation for getting Tyson his new chair and tray for us to use at home. It has been a huge struggle for us over the past month to carry him everywhere and be by his side constantly. This has given him some of his independence back and he loves it. Foundations such as this are such a blessing. If we had to go through our insurance, this would have taken us at least 3 months to get in. They ordered these for Tyson and were delivered to us in Charlotte in less than 2 weeks. Thank you ladies so much.”
the Video request to garth brooks:
Tyson's dad, Colt Waid:
Tyson became our SGF angel in December of 2020. Chances are, if you attend an SGF event, you’ll hear Callin’ Baton Rouge as a tribute to him. We are proud to know Tyson’s family, to have been a small part of his journey, and to have made him smile.
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