Last March, I had the pleasure to meet a wonderful recently engaged couple, Teresa and Tyler. Tyler shared with me his love of surfing and travel with Teresa, and his experiences as a young ER doctor. We had a great conversation, and I could clearly see that the two of them had a love that was special. They hired our studio to photograph their wedding, to be held on Jan 19, 2013.
Sadly, just 6 months after our meeting, Tyler passed away from complications after undergoing surgery to remove his stage 4 Colon Cancer. I knew Tyler for a total of one hour, and could immediately feel how genuine and kind he was as a person. He was 28 years old. I don’t think life should be this short. We have to continue to not only find a cure for Cancer, but also to research techniques on how to fight this disease that affects so many.
Inspired by Tyler, Teresa has changed her life course, and plans on enrolling in Nursing School soon. Although Teresa is going to do amazing things with her education, it will be an uphill battle. It is a tough time to be a student, and a huge financial responsibility. There are many medical students working to change our healthcare system from within, and are barely making ends meet. The average debt of medical students is close to $100,000.
I know that we can all help, even in some small way. In Tyler’s honor, and in appreciation of Teresa’s commitment, I have decided to grow a big, un-groomed, ugly beard. For every $25 donated, the beard will stay for another day. I will do this for up to 5 months, and have already given a two-week head start as a preview of where this beard can go. 100% of your donation will go to UCSD programs like the Medical Scholarship Initiative, which provides immediate, need-based scholarships, in Tyler Pardee’s honor.
I ask that you please donate any amount that you can. Also, please be sure to share this post’s link with your friends and family to help get the word out. Tweet it, post it, Pinnit… whatever you prefer! Let’s help put an end to Cancer, one whisker at a time!
Update: The beard has been shaved! Close to $1,500 was raised, which will to go towards need-based medical scholarships. We sincerely appreciate all your help and support throughout this campaign!