BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Lots of kids like to watch TV. But for kids fighting cancer, a little bit of entertainment can be an important escape from one of the most difficult challenges a child could face.
Tyler Kruse, 13, knows this firsthand. The Williamsville teen was diagnosed with leukemia last December and has spent over 100 nights in Oishei Children’s Hospital for treatment this year.
“It was rough for the first couple days to get settled in but my parents tried to make it feel at home as it could be,” Tyler said. His parents brought his PlayStation and other comforts from home to help him pass the days. They also brought a Roku streaming TV device, allowing Tyler to have a way to stay entertained during a scary and difficult time.
Now, Tyler wants to give other cancer warriors the same comforts that helped him.
“I know some kids don’t have devices like tablets and iPads, and it can get really lonely up there,” Tyler said.
When children with cancer are admitted to Oishei, they spend a minimum of 30 days in the hospital as they begin treatment. Tyler and his foundation Tyler Tough, along with Courage of Carly, are fundraising to help new pediatric cancer patients have the means to entertain themselves for those 30 days and beyond.
From now through Oct. 29, Tyler Tough is selling knit hats and pom hats with 100 percent of proceeds benefitting Courage of Carly. Courage of Carly will use the funds to buy Roku devices and a 30-day subscription to the Hulu, ESPN+ and Disney+ streaming services. 35 hats will also be donated to children with cancer.
You can purchase a Tyler Tough hat here.
Tyler and his father Michael Kruse joined News 4 at 7 alongside Sweet Buffalo’s Kimberly LaRussa for our Sweet Buffalo Monday segment to talk more about the fundraiser and how you can help bring joy to kids battling cancer. Watch the full interview in the video player above.
Justin McMullen is a Western New York native who joined the News 4 team in 2023. You can read more of his work here.