Rest in peace, little man. The fight is over. | Community Spirit
His life was a battle against an evil force. For so much of his four years and five months on earth, Cash Michael Hyde fought a brain tumor that wouldn't quit. By medical standards, Cashy probably should not have survived the initial tumor that hit when he was barely more than a year old. But, he did. And, he kept fighting. And, tonight at 10:13 pm in his hometown of Missoula, Montana, that tumor finally won.
I met Cashy in early April 2011. I had heard about his story from mutual friends in Montana and knew I had to share it. Cashy had just beat Stage 4 brain cancer - and, mid-way through his treatment, his parents began giving him cannabis oil to ease the side effects of the treatment. They called it a miracle drug and it was easy to see why. Cannabis helped give them back their son. I knew it was a good story to tell, especially in light of the medical marijuana debate that was raging in Washington at the time (the feds raided medical marijuana dispensaries the same day our story aired.) I didn't know I would fall in love with the little boy.
The first thing I noticed about Cashy was his eyelashes. His real ones put Kim Kardashians fake eyelashes to shame. We interviewed his dad in a hospital conference room, as they dropped of donations to the pediatric oncology ward. Cashy was in remission then - and was clearly bored by how long it took us to interview his dad. But, he played (somewhat) quietly with his brother until we were done.
I was struck by Cashy, in large part, because I have a son his age. My son Dylan is 6 months younger, so I couldn't help but see him in Cashy. But, something about Cashy's eyes were... different. There was a wisdom there, a sense that he'd been a part of so much more. He'd stared death in the face - and, walked away the victor.
What a difference 19 months makes. In the time since, Cashy's cancer came back - he got treatment again and things were looking good. Earlier this summer, the tumor returned. Cashy's parents had promised him no more needles and hospitals and treatment. They were determined to either beat this thing naturally or at least give Cashy a good life. He played with his big brother, he did typical toddler things, he trick-or-treated on Halloween. And, he got to meet his baby sister, who was born earlier this year.
We were hoping to get to Missoula to do a follow-up story, but my schedule just never worked out. I'll regret that, because I would have liked to see him one more time.
Until Cashy died tonight, he lived. And, he lived because his parents were brave enough to face persecution and prosecution to make their son comfortable even as a tumor was taking over. They were brave enough to share his story with the world- and, the world responded with prayers and support and love.
Just after 7:00 tonight, Cashy's mom Kalli posted that his time on earth was running out. I read that, then I went to put my son Dylan to bed. I laid with him after he fell asleep and felt his heart beating under my hand. And, I sobbed for Mike and Kalli because it makes no sense that their little boy was passing away.
I'm heartbroken tonight to know that the light in those eyes is gone. I find solace in my faith, knowing Cashy's suffering is over. And, I thank his family for trusting me to share his story with all of you.
Rest in peace, little man. The fight is over. Your legacy has just begun.
The Cash Hyde Foundation’s mission is to fight cancer with smiles, prayers, positive energy and provide information and financial support for children with cancer and their families. For more information about the foundation, check out their website or Facebook fan page.
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