Strength  - together we learn, together we fight, together we win.


The weekend of July 17, 2010, we were at a cabin enjoying time with great friends when Tanner hit his arm on the corner of a table. Within an hour it had turned black and blue, and we knew we needed to have it examined. Throughout the summer we had noticed bruises on Tanner but thought they were from him just being an active boy. We took him to the doctor, then to the Children's Hospital-Minneapolis where he was diagnosed with Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS). A second opinion from the Mayo Clinic confirmed that Tanner did have MDS and needed a bone marrow transplant. Tanner checked into Children's Hospital on September 13 to start chemotherapy and was discharged on October 6. He was able to reduce the number of cancerous cells in his blood due to his strong body and successful chemotherapy. Tanner enjoyed life to the fullest during the next three weeks and accomplished his ultimate goal of planting the flag at center ice before the start of the October 28 Minnesota Wild game.

On October 29, Tanner was admitted to the University of Minnesota Amplatz Children's Hospital where he met Brett Favre and caught the pass Brett threw him. Following this brush of fame, Tanner began more chemotherapy and radiation. So strong and positive at this time, not once did Tanner complain about his pain. On November 8, a day we call Tanner's second birthday, surrounded by his family, Tanner received a bone marrow transplant. On November 13, he developed an infection, was transferred to the pediatric ICU, and was placed on a ventilator. Despite many ups and downs, things appeared to be moving in the right direction for Tanner. We remained hopeful for a full recovery.

At around 9 p.m. on November 27, 2010, Tanner's blood pressure and vitals dropped. The medical staff did everything in their power to save Tanner, but it was not meant to be. Tanner passed away at 11 p.m. that night.

Tanner was vibrant, positive, and kindhearted. An athletic, good-looking, redheaded boy, Tanner made an impression on those lucky enough to meet him. We made a promise to each other to keep Tanner's spirit alive within all of us by helping others. Tanner's Team Foundation has been set up to help other families who are dealing with childhood cancer or other serious illnesses.

Tanner, we cherish the 11-1/2 years we were able to spend with you. Your legacy lives on. We miss you and we love you to heaven and back.