Each day, young families across the nation and world are given life shattering news that they have cancer, and may never have a chance for fond memories. Our goal at Together Forever is to create opportunities for these families to make memories that last a lifetime. Our purpose is to select qualified young families and provide them with an all-expenses-paid vacation in order to give them a break from their normal lives.
Skyler Ryan Sanders was born on March 11, 2002. We knew he was special and a miracle, but we didn’t know how inspirational he would be at such a young age.
On May 15, 2008, our lives changed forever. Our 6-year- old son, Skyler, was diagnosed with a rare and inoperable brain tumor called DIPG (Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma). We can still remember the doctor coming into the room and saying those earth shattering words, “Your son has cancer!” Skyler went from competing for wins playing sports to battling cancer and fighting for his life.
Skyler was a patient at the most amazing hospital in the world, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, TN. He went through 6 weeks of radiation and 18 months of daily chemo.
On July 12, 2010, our sweet, precious little 8-year-old boy won his battle with Cancer and went to be with Jesus.
During those 26 months that Skyler battled cancer, he encouraged so many with his courage, strength, and positive outlook on life. Skyler loved life. Even when his health got worse and he was met with new challenges every day, he would make the best of it. Skyler was also truly selfless. He was always worried about others above himself.
We are thankful to live in a community that walked alongside us during this journey. Our community along with people literally all over the world supported us with many acts of kindness and continually prayed for our sweet boy and our family.
Skyler taught us so much in the short 8 years we had him. He taught us that LIFE is short. We have no idea how many days we have left on this earth. He also taught us that LIFE is about Purpose. It is about using what God has given you to make a difference in this life and growing for the experiences and trials that you will face.
We want to be able to continue Skyler’s legacy by helping families that are going through similar life altering challenges by giving them a much needed vacation from the stresses of everyday life. We cherish and hold tightly to the incredible memories we were able to make as a family with Skyler.
Skyler would tell us daily “You and Me, Together Forever.” This is how Together Forever, A Skyler Sanders Family Foundation began.
-Melissa and Ryan Sanders
Philippians 4:13- I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.