By: Amanda Jelowicki
Tyler Goldsmith finds having long hair annoying.
But the 10-year-old shaved it all off for a special reason: he’s raising money to help his father, who is quite ill right now.
“I hope we can find a cure for cancer to cure my dad,” he said from his classroom in Beechwood Elementary in Pierrefonds.
Tyler started growing his hair last spring. That’s when his dad was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer.
“Before he got cancer, we used to play together and go skiing together. Now he gets shots and he bruises easily so he isn’t allowed to go skiing anymore with me,” Tyler said.
Tyler’s parents are overwhelmed at their son’s initiative, which aims to raise money for the Jewish General Hospital, where Tyler’s father Lyle is being treated. There’s no doubt Lyle faces a tough battle, as the cancer has recently spread to his lungs.
“It makes me so proud to know his heart is in the right place, and that’s he’s compassionate,” Lyle Goldsmith said. “To think beyond himself — he’s only 10, just a little boy. It’s really touching.”
“He is such a kind, emotional, good-hearted little boy,” his mother Ann Goldsmith said. “I hope this guides him to become the man he will grow up to be.”
Tyler launched his fundraising campaign on social media, hoping to raise $2,500.
Beachwood Elementary supported his efforts at an assembly Friday afternoon. With donations from friends, family, and the school community, Tyler raised $11,000 for the JGH — four-and-a-half times more than he’d hoped.
In his fundraising appeal, Tyler promised to shave his head — which he finally did, months after first starting to grow his hair for just that reason.
His parents couldn’t be prouder.
“It’s very overwhelming, very emotional. Just the support of the community is really touching,” Lyle said.
Tyler said he wouldn’t hesitate to do it all over again if it meant helping his dad get better.
In front of more than 200 of his fellow students, Tyler put on a hat, and told the assembled community, “Thanks for supporting me, because all together we can fight cancer.”
Those wishing to donate to the Goldsmith Kick Cancer Fund can do so online or by calling the Segal Centre at the JGH.