Our privacy policy has changed. By using this site, you agree to the Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. Dismiss
Commenting login:
  • Log-in Edit profile
  • Register Logout

Advertisement

Family in need as they say goodbye to son

Oct. 16, 2012

Tyler Fenninger of Mukwonago was diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2009. Now, it appears the journey may be coming to an end for the 20-year-old.

Tyler's cancer has been progressing steadily, and doctors have given him 10 to 18 weeks to live. In an effort to pay for hospice care, which will run $300 a day, and for final arrangements, the Fenninger family has started Tokens for Tyler.

The family has been circulating postcards with information about Tyler and how to donate. They are seeking help to provide their son with comfortable care for his final days, and funds to provide him a casket, funeral, burial plot, headstone, etc.

"Tyler's cancer is progressing steadily, and now he has only months left," said his mom, Christine Fenninger. "Due to this and for the need to raise funds quickly, I am going to be selling some of our personal property on Craig's List."

Any help would make a big difference to the family.

Tyler has faced many medical challenges as a result of being born with neurofibromatosis, a rare genetic disorder of chromosome 17 that affects one in 5,000 children. As a result, he faced developmental challenges growing up.

"He's always had something to deal with, some kind of crutch in place that the disease has required from him," explained his mom.

Fenninger fell down the stairs about 3 ½ years ago. His family rushed him to the hospital, where tests revealed a tumor in his brain, a rare type known as pleomorphic xanthochromic astrocytoma (PXA). He was rushed into surgery, the first of 16 he would undergo over the next few years.

Because the tumor is so close to the brain stem, doctors were never able to remove all of it. Additionally, the tumor cells grow back and take on the same appearance as healthy brain cells, making complete removal impossible.

"He's been rare from the beginning," Christine said of her son.

Over the course of his treatments, Tyler has had to relearn how to walk, talk, eat and essentially function three times.

"Tyler is amazing. I have never seen anyone fight like he has fought," Christine said. "Children have this incredible acceptance of what is happening to them that they don't allow it to consume them."

For someone who will never have the chance to live on his own an adult, Christine said that hospice will be Tyler's one chance to have a place of his own. He will be able to determine who comes and goes, and when.

"He's never going to be forgotten," said Christine. "I'm so proud of him. I'm thankful to be the one that was chosen to be his mother."

Pyramax Bank in Mukwonago is collecting donations for the Fenninger family. Stop at any location and tell the teller you'd like to make a donation to Tokens for Tyler.

This site uses Facebook comments to make it easier for you to contribute. If you see a comment you would like to flag for spam or abuse, click the "x" in the upper right of it. By posting, you agree to our Terms of Use.

Advertisement

Special Sections

 

Menu+Guide

    Waterford 2015 Chamber                Menu Guide

                       Guide

Special sections archive

 

Weekend Happenings

Featured this week:  

Joe Hite: 7 p.m. May 27, Okauchee Lake Yacht Club, W340 N6338 Breezy Point Road, Oconomowoc. 7 to 11 p.m. Joe Hite will perform, and all proceeds will benefit the Okauchee Fireworks Fund. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Minimum $10 per person.

Burgundy Ties Plays: 8 p.m. May 28, Bucky’s Lakeside Pub and Grill, 50n 35016w Wisconsin Ave, Okauchee. The combination of their eclectic sound and live performance makes Burgundy Ties stand out as an original and inspired Milwaukee band. Visit www.burgundytiesband.com. Free.

Duck/Homemade Boat Race: 10 a.m. May 28, Nixon Park, 339 Maple Ave., Hartland. Races start at 11 a.m. There will be food for sale as well as other family-friendly activities. Entry fee per race is $5 and $1 to purchase a duck. All proceeds go to saving the swifts and to the Ice Age Trail. For rules and information, visit www.savetheswifts.com.

Rummage Sale: 9 a.m. May 26-27; 8 a.m. May 28, Rummage Sale, N41W29213 Prairie Wind Circle South, Pewaukee. Volunteers and donations needed. We will supply tax donation forms to donors. Anything not sold will be donated to Goodwill and Lake Country Caring.

All weekend happenings