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Ty Day slated for June 24

Family and friends alike will surround Natyas “Ty” Carter-McPherson on Saturday, June 24 in honor of Ty Day.

Not many nine-year-olds get their very own day.  But then, Ty isn’t just any nine-year-old.

Ty, a fourth grader at Greenville Elementary School, has been likened to a beacon of hope and cheerfulness by those that know him best, despite his own personal battle with a rare disease.

He suffers from muscular dystrophy, an illness categorized by a gradual and progressive weakness and loss of muscle mass.

The disease can result in difficulty performing basic actions that others take for granted, such as walking, swallowing or simply breathing.

According to Cynthia Herbert, who met Carter-McPherson during her tutoring program, not one of muscular dystrophy’s symptoms has affected his sunny disposition.

“What really touched my heart is the way he goes through what he’s going through,” she said.  “I’ve worked with kids for decades, and they endure better than adults. I know because adults can see further, but his courage has really touched my heart. And he touches the hearts of people—once you meet him, he just sticks in your heart.”

Ty has undergone a number of surgical procedures throughout the years to help manage the various effects of muscular dystrophy, including one common symptom known as toe walking.  Because those who have the disease have weakened hip muscles but retain their calf and distal strength, many youth with muscular dystrophy develop a tendency to walk on their toes.

Ty’s most recent surgery enables him to walk flat-footed again, though it was a procedure he approached with some degree of hesitation.

“I told him that we don’t have to be afraid,” Herbert said. “I told him ‘Jesus is going to go in with you, and he’s going to come out with you.’ He asked me ‘If Jesus wakes me up, will you give me a party?’

“And so that’s what he wanted. This day is to celebrate his life.  His illness is serious, but the outcome of the surgery was good—better than the doctor expected. This day is a very, very special time for him.”

The event itself, sponsored by the Church of the Last Days’ Train Up a Child youth outreach ministry, will be held at the Professional Men’s building from 10 a.m. until 11:30 a.m.

There will be refreshments provided for guests, as well as praise dancers and choirs from various neighboring churches.

Bishop John Simpson Jr. will offer encouraging words to the youth in attendance.

The youth, says Herbert, are a central focus of the event.

“We’re inviting the public to come, and especially our youth, because we want the youth to come celebrate with him,” she said.

Visiting churches are asked to bring their young members, wearing their respective church’s T-shirts, if able.

An offering will be taken for Ty, and those who want to donate can do so on the day of the event.

Donors can also contact the Church of the Last Days at P.O. Box 1095 in Greenville.

For more information, contact Herbert at 334-371-1423.