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Tyler's Cancer Photo Recovery

Organizer & Beneficiary: Melissa Bugai

Tyler's Cancer Photo Recovery

I've lost the photos of Tyler's first few months of his cancer journey.  

I was exhausted one morning last summer, a few months after Tyler's cancer diagnosis. Kiley was driving me crazy as I just wanted two minutes of peace to brush my teeth.  In my exhaustion and frustration I hander that little sweet toddler, a freshly minted 1 year old my phone. Something we only did periodically knowing that all she does is play with the keypad on the screen trying to unlock the phone. She happily took the phone while I sighed and began brushing.  A moment later I heard the splash. I spun around and snatched my very locked phone out of the toilet.  The water damage as severe even for the brief exposure. The phone was locked out from too many password attempts.  I couldn't power it down.  I put it in rice.  I couldn't get data off it because even my laptop couldn't talk to the phone until the password was entered via the phone.  The phone's touch screen was too damaged.  Everything was lost.  Hundreds of photos and videos were gone.  I cherish my photos.  It's why I shell out for the top of the line smartphone so that I have the best camera possible in my pocket.   In all my stress, all my worry, everything that we've been through in this last year it's the photos that bring me back and help me remember.  It's not all cancer all the time.  We've been to the zoo, to the cottage, to see family, gone out to dinner... the trips are rare but the photos remind me that we've LIVED through this, not merely made it though.  Very frequently, as often as daily, I look back through my camera roll on my phone and remind myself of the good times, the best memories, and the things that we've been strengthened by. 

This spring, as I reflect on our journey and prepare for the very scary process of brain radiation I desperately crave my photos back.  I've sought out the help of a data recovery company.  As you can imagine this is a VERY extreme and expensive service.  They've disassembled my phone, are using very specialized hardware, clean rooms, and loads of specialized skills to recover each bit of data on the lowest possible level all to hopefully reassemble gigs of photos.  This service is typically only used by businesses, governments, and others to recover critical data such as crime evidence, lost work products, etc.  So to simply recover beloved photos it's a lot of money.  I'm asked for help from our village to share this huge cost so that we can all enjoy looking back on the photos and get healing.  That said, I know this is mostly for me and maybe for Tyler when he's older and wants to understand more about his childhood cancer.  I know it's a pretty selfish ask.  But it means so much more than I can put in words.  

If you can spare the money, if you can give up a coffee or takeout, if you can eat ramen & a PBJ this week so that we can have our photos & memories back I would be indebted you you for a lifetime.  And if I may be so bold, I think 18 year old Tyler will be grateful too.  Maybe even and adult Kiley too for the gift of her photos to share on her wedding day or with her children.

Thank you for hearing our story and wish.

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