the amazing human that
started it all
THE SUNSHINE PROJECT
WELCOME TO THE SUNSHINE PROJECT - THIS IS A PROJECT THAT STARTED OUT OF A DEEP LOVE AND NEED FOR OUR SON TY. THIS IS REALLY HIS STORY THAT HE TELLS AND IT IS OUR WAY OF HONORING HIM.
inspired by a need for mental health help + wanting to do good in the world - the sunshine project was born.
the story of how the sunshine project began
This is not my story to tell, but the story of our AMAZING, authentic, loving, gracious son. He has asked us to share it - I want to honor him and the pieces of his life that he is willing to share publicly. This is his story, shared with HIS PERMISSION and ALL approved by him. Ty is the MOST amazing human. SERIOUSLY. AMAZING. If you have not had the privilege of meeting him, I hope that one day you get the chance because a single conversation will make you feel so loved. He is known for his kindness, his brilliance and his compassion. He is nothing short of amazing. Thank you Ty for bravely being willing to share pieces of your story. We are supporting you, fighting for you and will always have your back - no matter what.
Two things have caused pause for him in his life and for us as parents - all stemming from childhood trauma. Our only goal is to support and love on Ty.
First you must understand that the trauma experienced at a young age has left offshoots of struggle that have caused him so much fear and anxiety. It's a fear and anxiety that is so specific - he struggles with simply talking. Not because of ability, but because he has always felt like his peers have judged him (more on that in a second). His biggest worry is how people view his teeth and his accent - which is absolutely beautiful. He introverts himself so greatly that when he begins to talk, he stumbles through his words, causing him to have more anxiety when he tries to communicate - it really has made the greatest impact on the relationships that he builds and how he advocates for himself at school. We know how capable he is because at home - these things are not a struggle. Titus's PTSD does not manifest itself in what we have ever considered a typical manifestation of childhood trauma, yet as he has gotten older, it has become more and more apparent to him the struggles he is facing. The increase in anxiety, fear of speaking and worry has really caused a separation from him and his peers.
Second thing stems from a much more obvious condition. When Titus was little, he contracted malaria. The medication that he received in DRC caused his teeth to become greatly discolored as well as have chunks of enamel missing. This has always caused great deal of stress for Ty, but he has taken always taken it in stride knowing that one day we would be able to find a way to fix his teeth. WELL, THIS YEAR THERE HAS BEEN A KID that has made Titus his target. He has mocked Titus for how he stammers, called him retarded, as well as made fun of his teeth to people.
[ insert our heartbreak + his]. Since I am my child's protector and BIGGEST advocate. I went to work.
Finding a way to support Ty has became my #1 priority. After sitting down with Ty - we have reached a plan. Ty feels he needs to start Neurofeedback (again) along side of talk therapy/EMDR, plus his biggest request is to get his teeth fixed. This is where this SUNSHINE PROJECT comes into play - this is going to start as a fundraiser for Ty WHERE 100% OF ALL SALES GOES TO HIM - and once we have reached our goals - we are going to support local families who need access to quality mental health help for children. We have seen the benefit on Neurofeedback and we want to help others after we have launched this for Ty.
We have got to teach our kids to not only stop bullying, but to simply listen and hear the stories of others. To have empathy and love for what others have walked through and experienced. To create relationships with people that are build on supporting one another - instead of tearing each other apart. This should be one of our greatest goals as parents - helping teach our children to be good citizens + world changers that have great empathy and kindness.
Ty knows what will help him in anyway we can and we 100% support what he needs. This is a family effort - all 7 of us are involved in some way, even little Isaiah who is all about positive messages.