Tyler praised for turning his challenges into a ‘force of good’
Tyler Murphy (pictured with his mum, Jan), received his British Empire Medal at a special ceremony and was hailed as “extraordinary” by the Lord-Lieutenant of West Sussex.
Mrs Susan Pyper, the Queen’s representative in the county, gave the 21-year-old – who was diagnosed with a brain tumour at the age of 12 – his medal.
The award from the Queen’s Birthday Honours List is in acknowledgement of Tyler’s tireless work helping to brighten up the lives of children living with debilitating illnesses and their families in West Sussex.
“Tyler is an extraordinary young person,” said Mrs Pyper at Monday’s investiture at his old secondary school, St Philip Howard in Barnham.
“Not only has he had his own considerable challenges to deal with, he has turned that hardship into a force for good by helping other children and young people.
“And the British Empire Medal means so much because it is a tribute to people who have contributed to their local communities.”
Mrs Pyper added that it was even more of an achievement as Tyler is so young.
“In my 10 years as Lord-Lieutenant of West Sussex, Tyler is only the second person aged under 60 who has been awarded with a British Empire Medal,” she said.
“He is remarkable.”
Tyler told his friends and family at the ceremony; “It has been a long few years but I have got through it thanks to all of you.
“It has been a privilege for me to help other people.”
Mum Jan said; “I couldn’t be prouder of Tyler.
“Despite everything he’s been through, he remains positive and upbeat.
“He never puts himself first and always thinks of other people.
““When we got the letter about his award, I couldn’t read it out to him because I was crying so much!
“Tyler inspires me every day.”
Since being diagnosed with a rare glioneuronal tumour in 2010, Tyler has undergone 27 operations, leaving him with severe disabilities. In 2016, he suffered a stroke, which affected his speech.
In 2014, as he lay in his hospital bed recovering from surgery, he came up with the idea of sending out gift boxes to children in a similar situation, and Tyler’s Trust was born.
Tyler – who calls himself the Green Ninja as he rocks green hair – is one of our 20 Young Ambassadors across the UK, helping the charity raise awareness about the disease – the biggest cancer killer of children and under-40s.
Emma Wood, our Young Adults Service Manager, said: “We are thrilled for Tyler he has received this incredible honour – he richly deserves it.
“He’s an inspirational young man and we are so lucky to have him as one of our charity ambassadors.
“Sharing his experience of living with the impact of a brain tumour is the most powerful way of helping us to raise awareness.
“Tyler has got a great sense of humour and is very popular with the other Young Ambassadors and everyone at the charity.”
Picture © Spiritfm