Family asks for birthday e-cards for Upstate boy battling rare condition

Courtesy of Shelley Family/April 25, 2018

A 12-year-old Spartanburg boy is battling a life threatening genetic condition and recently, he's hit a few setbacks. Now, his family is asking for some help from the public.

Tyler Shelley is in the PICU right now at Greenville Memorial and faces more surgeries ahead. But there is a way you can lift his spirits: showing your support by wearing green or a super hero shirt this Friday, April 27th.

Tyler is battling mitochondrial disease and the past year has been especially difficult.

His sister Michaela Shelley explained what the condition is. “It's a genetic condition where the mitochondria in your body don't work right and the problem duplicates over time. So your organs won't get enough energy to work, so they slowly shut down and fail as it gets worse.”

There are no treatments or cure for the disease, and recently, Tyler’s had some complications that have landed him in the hospital.

Tyler's family tells us he's received lots of support from around the world. He started a bucket list of sorts last year, called "Tyler’s Loving Life List." It includes things like paying it forward campaigns, and meeting the cast of the show NCIS and race car driver Jimmie Johnson.

He also has talked about his love of law enforcement, and his dream to become a police officer. Law enforcement officers around the world have learned of the list and his dream thanks to Facebook, and have sent him police patches from all over.

Now, during a time when he's struggling, his family and friends say Tyler could use a big show of support.

Michaela told us, “We're just asking people to help support us because we don't know how things will go and we want Tyler to know that everyone loves and cares for him.”

The family also says that donating blood in honor of Tyler would mean a lot. They want to replenish the supply that Tyler has needed recently, because they know others are in need as well.

To follow Tyler’s story, visit the Facebook page "Spread the Love for Tyler."

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