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Tyler Strong Foundation donates to Golisano Children's Hospital

Rochester, N.Y. (WHAM) - The community is coming together Thursday and Friday to support the children, families and staff at Golisano Children's Hospital through the Drive For Miracles Radiothon.

One donation will be given in memory of Tyler Hutt, a young man from Victor. His death was unexpected, but the way he lived his life made it clear to his family what they should do to carry on his passions.

"He was one of those kids that everybody liked," said Duane Hutt, Tyler's father, with a smile.. "Of course I'm going to say that because I'm his father but it's not just me. His head coach for the football team, Geoff Mandile, said it well. He said he's never heard a person say a bad thing about Tyler."

Along with football, Thanksgiving and Christmas, community topped the list of things Tyler loved. It would become a theme in his life.

Tyler had two extended stays at the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at Golisano Children's Hospital. The first was when he was 11 years old and developed a blood clot in his brain. To treat, it he took Coumadin for a year and a half and was not allowed to play football during that time. Instead, he coached alongside his dad.

"He was there every game, every practice, supporting me and probably being a really good coach to these kids," Duane said.

In an essay about what he learned in that time, Tyler wrote, "It's about friends and family, coaches and a community coming together and to support one another." The essay won him $5,000, which he used to buy a scoreboard for the community's youth baseball fields.

During Tyler's junior year of high school, he blew out his knee. So he was itching to take the field his senior year. But he returned from pre-season camp sick and developed pneumonia. That led to his second extended stay at the children's hospital.

Less than a week after being discharged, on a Sunday when the family planned to relax in the backyard pool together, they heard a call for help from Tyler's bedroom.

"He looked at me and said, 'Call 911,'" Duane said. "And that's when you knew it was real, something wasn't right."

"When he went into the emergency room after the ambulance, there was a nurse that the last time he had been in a few days before for his pneumonia and had cared for him," Tyler's mother Kris said. "Here it was more than a week later and her first words were, 'Oh my gosh, no, Tyler.' She remembered him and she remembered us."

Tyler died at the hospital from a pulmonary embolism.

Not long after, the Tyler Strong Foundation was formed. It has funded a new scoreboard at Tyler's beloved high school football field and scholarships for Victor students. Now some funds are going to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at Golisano Children's Hospital.

The hospital is another community his family has come to appreciate.

"Whether you are living in Victor or Webster or another community, it's about community," Kris said through tears. "The hospital is a little community when you're up there having a stay - whether you are there staying overnight with your child for extended periods of time - you get to know the nurses really well. The doctors, people cleaning the rooms, all caring for your child. During those situations when it is a life and death situation, to know that every single person there cares about your child, about you, that if you have to step out of the room for two seconds that they are being looked after like you would your own child...that means a lot."

It means a lot too that members of the current Victor football team, the community Tyler loved so much, will be with the Hutt family on Friday as they make the Tyler Strong donation during the Drive for Miracles.

You can watch that live at 8 AM on Fox Rochester.

The Drive for Miracles for the hospital is a partnership of radio stations 100.5 The Drive and WHAM 1180 and 13WHAM News.

Call 585-241-KIDS (241-5437) on Thursday or Friday between 5 AM and 7 PM to donate or click here to donate online.

More information about the Tyler Strong Foundation can be found on its website.

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