July 13, 2013 Todd Schultz and his family’s lives were changed forever. That is the day Todd was diagnosed with High Risk Philadelphia Chromosome Positive Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. For those of you who don’t know, it is an aggressive form of blood cancer. Todd was in his summer leading up to high school. He was eager to play football for Edwardsville High School, and he was eager to see what high school was all about. Unfortunately, instead of experiencing high school through the eyes of a “normal kid,” he had to experience it through the eyes of a cancer patient. This meant staying home when his friends went to football games or playing sports. It meant leaving homecoming after just one song because he was so exhausted by the time he arrived. It meant needing tutors and homebound teachers in order for him to be able to graduate on time.
Cancer of any type is horrific. It causes the body to attack itself, it causes vomiting and nausea, causes hair loss, muscle wasting, rapid weight loss, sores in the mouth that make it impossible to eat, infections, dehydrating, electrolyte imbalances, and all of those are just complications of the medications that are supposed to cure them.
During the course of his treatment Todd met some amazing friends, but Todd wasn’t ready for the reality of 1 in 5 kids diagnosed with cancer will die due to the cancer or complications caused by the treatments. Todd lost two of the friends he made from treatment and he was fed up.
Because of everything he had been through, Todd decided he wanted to prevent other children from enduring the same horrors and thus, Painting the Town Gold was born. Todd’s own reasons, in his own words, is, “I believe that God has given me a purpose, and that he has brought me to this to use my voice as a voice of change. The only way that we can begin to tackle this killer is by spreading awareness and raising funds for research. Cancer is killing kids; it’s that simple.”
Painting the Town Gold was started in 2015. Todd was the forefront in this mission to change pediatric healthcare. Since the start, Painting the town Gold has raised over $280,000. This “kid” has raised more money for fundraising than many adults. He puts his heart and soul into making sure he is raising the most money and that all of the money is going to the right place. Todd is humble. He tells everyone that none of this would be possible without the Painting the Town Gold committee members and the Painting the Town Gold community, but the truth is, none of this would be possible without Todd.
Recently, Todd reached another significant road block. A couple months ago Todd's family was rocked by the horrific news once again. October 18 Todd received his bone marrow transplant. He will spend a good stretch in the hospital, but even when he leaves the fight isn't over. He will be put on many restrictions that no college student, or anyone for that matter, should have to follow.
Instead of this family pitying themselves, they came out in September to raise funds all over again for Pediatric Cancer Awareness. Todd and his family are busting their butts to raise money for others, even though they need help themselves. Vickie often talks about nothing else matters as long as Todd gets healthy. I know that is the truth, but there are many things this family needs.
This family needs our help. There is a significant amount of many that we need to raise in a very short period of time. Todd is in the hospital. He is fighting hard, and now it is our turn to rally for him. The family has to move, and they have to move before Todd comes home. There are bills to pay, groceries and gas to buy, debts to pay off and soon, many more medical expenses and medications to buy.
The Schultz family will get through this, they are strong and resilient. But, they don't have to get through it alone. Every little bit counts, and if you can't give, please consider sharing to your page.
- DAVID VALLEY
- Duane and June Weber
Organizer and beneficiary
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