When their daughter was diagnosed with cancer, Kim and Jon Smith did everything they could to try and save her. They exhausted treatment options in the United States and then in Europe, but the cancer simply would not be overcome. Tyler Rebekah Byrd died at the age of 15 in December 2003.
Kim and Jon say that losing Tyler was, of course, a deeply personal tragedy, but their experience was also part of a much bigger problem. There was, they realized, a tremendous lack of funding for childhood cancer, and there seemed to be little movement toward change.