Tyson Waid, from left, sits with his mom Maggie Waid while dad Colt Waid holds little sister Averie during dinner at Jefferson’s Monday night. The restaurant donated ten percent of its sales Monday to the family to defray medical expenses for Tyson who has been diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor.

Little Tyson Waid, the two and a half year old son of Maggie and Colt Waid, has already defied his doctors once. Now he’s fighting to extend his life longer than experts have told the family they can anticipate.

Tyson wasn’t meeting some of his physical milestones to the point where his parents decided to take him down to Scottish Rite Hospital in Atlanta when he was four or five months old. Things like rolling over and being able to reach out with both hands just weren’t working.

“They put him to sleep and did an MRI and it showed a stroke (while still in the womb),” Colt said. “They told us he wouldn’t walk until he was four or five years old and he started walking about 17 months.”

He was making nice progress, then last month Tyson was diagnosed with Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma, a particularly aggressive brain tumor of childhood. It arises in the pons, a region of the brain stem involved in critical body functions.

“He has his good and bad days,” Colt said.

Tyson is about half way through his radiation regimen but his father said the doctors said the diagnosis is terminal and that he may have as much as two years to live.

He surprised the doctors once when he started to walk. The family is hoping, and praying, that he can defy the odds and give them just a little more time.

The same type of tumor weakened two-year-old Karen Armstrong, the daughter of astronaut Neil Armstrong to the point that she died of pneumonia.

The discovery of the tumor taken its toll. His mother, Maggie, who wants to pursue a career in nursing, has had to turn down several jobs offers while dad Colt has just taken a leave from his position as manager of CVS in Summerville. The expenses continue to mount but Colt said the family has just been overwhelmed by the support from the community. The Make-a-Wish Foundation has already reached out to the family and is in the process of putting together a vacation, probably to Disney World, later this year.

Jefferson’s owner Wayne Mullinax said it didn’t take more than two minutes into a meeting with the family to make the decision to hold the fundraiser. He was connected to the family by one of his employees, Lauren Paige, who had seen a Facebook post about little Tyson’s condition. Mullinax is donating ten percent of Monday’s sales to the family to help offset the tremendous medical expenses.

“I just love kids. It’s just heartbreaking to me and actually it’s an honor to be able to help out with whatever we can do,” Mullinax said.

Mullinax said Monday that’s he’s been so proud of the way the Rome community stepped up to support the Waid family. The lunch crowd at the restaurant stayed busy until nearly 3 p.m. and the restaurant was packed for dinner late into the evening

More information is available at the Team Tyson Facebook page.

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