This August was the 4th Annual Tournament for Tyson, hosted by parents Chris Gibson and Ellie Stutzman in honor of their baby Tyson during his birth month each year. NFTS has been honored to receive the funds raised during the tournament for the past three years.

We started the tournament for a few reasons. I knew that if I couldn’t keep this horrible thing from happening to families, I needed to at least create the best environment possible for people to heal and move forward. Secondly, since my son isn’t here to live out his own legacy, I wanted to make sure I created one for him. And I wanted it to be a legacy of changing lives. The reason we chose a volleyball tournament was because Chris and I had met playing volleyball and since then it has become our favorite pass time to do together. And we were so eager to share our love for it with our boy Tyson. Now that the tournament has grown, those reasons still all stand true, but it has also now become more about an open invitation to anyone going through loss to come find someone to talk to. Or as long as they know we’ve been through it they can ask how they should react, love, support or talk to someone in their lives that is going through loss like this. Awareness is big, but education on how to support a family that is in SUCH a fragile position is even bigger. It needs to be talked about openly so families feel like they don’ t have to keep it a secret. These children being loss need to be celebrated and talked about, their lives matter. And lastly people need to be educated on how to support and love people in their darkest days. Really thankful for what NFTS is doing. It's exactly the support I would hope to give someone who has been in my situation. Organizations like these need to be supported so they can keep supporting the broken families and broken people that are left to fend for themselves.

-Ellie Stutzman