Communities Come Together for Dream Kid Tylih
Tylih just finished his first year of high school which brought about the typical challenges of a high school freshman, such as managing more independence, a larger student body, and a lot less structure. However, none of that stopped Tylih from successfully finishing his first year of high school and now he is ready to tackle his sophomore year! Tylih’s Mom, Dad, and two sisters are his biggest fans and have been an amazing support system for him. During our first visit, his little sisters, Latavia and Meyana, were eager to show off his drawings and let us know how much they love their big brother.
Tylih was diagnosed with autism at 18 months old and it wasn’t until he was almost 4 years old when he spoke his first words. Since a young age, Tylih has been in speech, occupational and physical therapies to help with the challenges he faces. He has incorporated sports as a way to help calm him and also finds a sense of peace in music, video games, and drawing. A weekly schedule and routine are important to Tylih although meeting new people is always a nice diversion, Mom would say he doesn’t know a stranger!
Tylih has a competitive spirit and a big love for both basketball and football, especially MVP Quarterbacks! Tylih’s Dad is a Cowboys fan, and his Mom pulls for the Panthers, but Tylih is all about The New Orleans Saints. We got a glimpse of the friendly banter between him and his parents as he told us all about The Saints and their record. His sports hero? MVP Quarterback Drew Brees of course! Tylih knows all there is to know about Brees, including how far and fast he can throw the ball.
His Dream: Tylih’s dream is to meet quarterback Drew Brees!
Referral Partner: Tylih was referred to us by The Arc of North Carolina
On Wednesday, August 4th the Dream Team arrived at Tylih’s house in a limo fit for a celebrity, to give him the surprise of a lifetime! He was very surprised to see us but we tried our best to keep things quiet just a little longer. We told Tylih that we needed him to come with us and our friend Alex from Queen City Party Charters in this amazing limousine so that he and Brandon Lindsey, DO3 Founder & CEO could have some fun at Dave & Busters, Concord. We aren’t sure if he totally bought it but who says no to a limo ride??
Why Dave & Buster’s you ask? One of Tylih’s things to do is play video games! The crew at Dave & Buster’s, Concord were gracious hosts for Tylih’s Dream Send-off and welcomed his family as well as all his other surprise guests. Tylih’s family and friends were all on site waiting for his arrival so they could share in his moment of excitement when he learned his Dream would be coming true. Tylih entered the restaurant (after everyone else because he is always a gentleman!) and it wasn’t long before he figured out he was going to do more than play a few games! Brandon and Tylih’s support system from The Arc of North Carolina reminded him that all of the people there are a part of his team, rooting and cheering for him in all that he does in life. And then the big moment. “Tylih, we are taking you tomorrow morning to meet the New Orleans Saints and spend time with your sports hero, Drew Brees!” Brandon looks at Tylih and says, “…so do you want to take a guess WHERE we are going?” Tylih’s response, “New Orleans?” Seems logical right? Maybe, but “we are headed to West Virginia!” Tylih definitely wore an expression of confusion until Brandon explained that one of the finest luxury resorts in the country, The Greenbrier, has invited Tylih and his family to stay with them and their friends, the New Orleans Saints! Let’s GEAUX, it’s time for training camp!
The Saints are known for their culture of creating community and service to others and it was unmistakably true during Tylih’s Dream Experience. The players welcomed Tylih with open arms, taking the time to talk with him but also, his parents and sisters. Rather than sit with his offensive line, Drew Brees squeezed in to enjoy lunch with Tylih and his “dream entourage.” Every experience was unforgettable but when Tylih had Drew’s undivided attention during a game of toss a different kid appeared and his joy was priceless! We would like to thank the Saints organization and The Greenbrier for their hospitality. They truly have gone above and beyond to make this Dream magical!
Photos by Emby Taylor Photography – click below to view the full album
This dream is sponsored by a Charity Basketball Tournament, organized by Yes I Can athlete, Harris Gagnon! The tournament raised over $1,300 to support Dream On 3.
Here’s how you can help!
1. Share Tylih’s Story! Help us raise awareness for those living with autism.
2. Get Social and follow along: Like us on FB or follow us on Twitter and Instagram at @Dream_On_3, then watch as Tylih’s Dream comes to life!
Food, plane tickets, gas, hotel rooms, and much more! Our Dream Experiences go far beyond the big Dream come true moment. Every dollar makes a difference! Help us make this experience extra special for Tylih and his family. Take it to the next level and ask your friends and family to donate too!