4-year-old with brain tumor celebrates his birthday at Bel Air

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ELK GROVE, Calif. (KTXL) -- For 4-year-old Tyler Richards’ birthday on Tuesday, he had a very special celebration at a Bel Air on Waterman Road in Elk Grove.

His dad said Tyler arrived in style.

"Tyler got decked out in an official CHP uniform with a little hat and be escorted ... to the Bel Air store in a CHP vehicle," he said.

His mother, Katie, told FOX40 the Bel Air where she used to work is one of Tyler’s favorite places to go.

"I don't know, it's his thing. He loves to go shopping," she said. "He likes to push the cart. He likes to put things in the cart and he wants to make sure that he gets something for everybody in the family."

Tyler had guests from the Cosumnes Fire Department, the California Highway Patrol and the grocery store. But it was more than just a party.

"It was a shopping spree, an apron, a cart, a hat, a nametag. All the employees just loving Tyler, letting him check, letting him go to every department," his mother said.

The reason for all the pomp and circumstance is Tyler is sick.

"We'd pick him up, his eyes would roll into his head like he was uncomfortable," Katie said. "We noticed that he wanted to talk and sometimes things would come out and other times, no sound."

His parents took him to countless specialists before one said he needed a CAT scan. That’s when they found a tumor on his brain.

"It's ganglioglioma, grade 1, and it's in the right thalamus," Katie explained.

It’s news no parent wants to get.

"We just didn't expect it and it's ...  it's lonely because it's a sad topic," Katie said. "So, a lot of people don't want to call you or ask how you're doing because they think they're going to make you feel down."

Tyler is on new medication now and his parents hope he will get better. But they say the party went a long way in his recovery.

"He loves laughs. He loves people and just to include everybody is Tyler," Katie told FOX40.

Tyler’s family said they were so grateful for everyone who showed up, knowing Tyler will fight to live until his next birthday.

"The day was perfect. Couldn't have been better," Katie said.


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