WEST HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Sergeant Chris Tyler is in the fight of his life against a rare brain tumor. It’s taken so much from him, but not his spirit or will to live.
“I grew up in Rocky Hill not too far from here. I always knew I wanted to be a police officer,” Tyler explains. “What goes through your mind every day when you wake up – you have a whole new perspective on life. You appreciate the little things it just gives you.”
Tyler, a former college football player was diagnosed with a rare brain tumor five years ago, at the age of 27.
“I had headaches for quite a while for weeks a few months and I just thought they were migraines and I was just treating them with Tylenol and it was going pretty well well. It slowly escalated and I woke up in the middle of the night and threw up and we decided decided it was time to go the hospital. I had a brain scan and it revealed the tumor which changed my life.”
Chris and his wife Brittany are high school sweethearts and were married a few years before the devastating diagnosis.
“We take these vows through sickness and health and then things like this happen. It’s very difficult to watch someone you love so much go through so much treatment and not being able to take the pain away that’s been tough for me,” Brittany says. “I’ve never seen anyone fight this hard my whole life. He’s had 81 rounds of radiation about six different types of chemotherapy, eleven brain surgeries and infections.”
He also takes no fewer than 25 pills a day, including chemotherapy. So far, nothing has stopped the tumor from growing. Still, Officer Tyler is optimistic and hopes to get back on the beat at West Hartford police.
The couple has two children, and the cancer has impacted them too. Although the prognosis is unclear, the Tylers says this ordeal has made them stronger.
“It has really brought us closer. We really appreciiate every day spending time with each other,” Chris says. “Love keeps us strong.”