SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The racing community surrounded a Round Lake, Minnesota boy with well-wishes in his battle against a rare and aggressive form of cancer. 16-year-old Ty Olson received encouragement from dirt track legends to the NASCAR champion himself.
It’s been a long road for a 16-year-old Minnesota boy battling bone cancer. Ty Olson was diagnosed with Metastatic Ewing Sarcoma two years ago. He began his first round of treatment on his 14th birthday.
“Very witty he could make you laugh easy as could be,” said his dad Randy”
Ty had a short remission but earlier this year doctors told his parents there was nothing more that could be done to stop the cancer. So they concentrated on what Ty loved, hunting, fishing, and racing.
“He fought very hard and tried going to all the races that he could even he’s want to hurry up and get home from chemo to go to the races, from radiation goes to the races, even against moms objections sometimes (laughs),” said Randy.
Lori and Randy reached out, and the racing community reached back. First, it was one of Ty’s favorite dirt track racers, David Gravel.
“Ty what’s going on, hopefully, it’s one of your favorite World of Outlaws drivers David Gravel.”
Ty was elated, then came a message from the top name in racing right now. Shortly after winning the NASCAR Championship, Kyle Larson wanted to talk with Ty.
“Hey Ty, I had a lot of people reach out to me lately and let me know that you are one of my biggest fans. I’ve been rooting a lot of you here, I just want you to know to keep fighting,” Kyle Larson said.
Lori says Ty’s face lit up and he couldn’t believe Kyle Larson was talking to him.
“I know he’s busy, NASCAR just ended he’s the champion he’s got a lot going on so we honestly didn’t think we’d hear from Kyle so I was kind of shocked,” said Lori.
“It really didn’t surprise me that he was willing to do it because he’s a grassroots dirt track guy living his dream,” said Randy.
The message brought some needed cheer to the Olson family. With two other children to care for and Ty in-home hospice, it’s been a tough holiday season. On Thanksgiving, Ty cried because he said it would be his last one with his family.
“I couldn’t even bring myself to buy Christmas gifts this year it’s just been rough,” said Lori.
One of Ty’s other passions was fishing. An ice fishing trip with his dad originally scheduled for January was moved up as Ty’s condition got worse. Ty was disappointed they had to come back early, but Randy told us he could tell his son was struggling.
“I never in a million years thought we’d go from 6 o’clock last night, him reeling in a 20-inch Walleye to being unresponsive laying in a bed right now, but just can’t believe it,” said Randy.
Yesterday afternoon TY’s condition got worse.
“As a parent to go through this it’s pure hell to watch your child suffer and know there’s nothing you can do to make him better,” said Lori.
“Not a damn thing you can do about it, just wish it was me and not him,” said Randy.
Ty slipped into a coma-like state. 10 hours after this interview at 11:27 last night, he died in the arms of his parents.
“The last thing we talked about was we told him that we loved him and he told us he loved us, and we just kept telling him over and over again that we loved him and we were proud of him he did everything he could,” said Lori.
Even though Ty did not get to choose the road he traveled at the end of his life, the Olson’s want all those who reached out to know that they made a difference.
And it was a comfort to know that others had their hands on the wheel at the end of Ty’s journey.
Other drivers including Ian Madsen and Terry McCarl also reached out to Ty during his battle with cancer. The family says they’ve grown close with Madsen.
A gofundme has been setup to help pay for Ty’s funeral expenses.