The Muddy Puddles Project is a celebration of children and childhood. It is a way of life. A shift toward finding the fun in everything, and letting go of every day stress. It embodies the act of kids being kids in honor of those who can’t.
The Muddy Puddles Project was inspired by five-year old Ty Campbell. A magnetic little boy who battled cancer for more than half his young life. The treatment that he endured severely compromised his quality of life, just as it does for the majority of the brave children fighting cancer every day. But it never stole his smile or dampened his spirit.
When Ty lost his ability to walk, he found joy chasing his brother around the house by scooting across the floor on his behind. When he lost the ability to manipulate his toys, he enjoyed looking through toy catalogs as his friends and family turned the pages. When he couldn’t eat some of his favorite foods, he found happiness in the simple sweetness from his favorite blue lollipops. When he was stuck in the hospital for months on end, he loved to get pushed around in his wheelchair and get outside for a breath of fresh air – or watch the fish in the fish tank. He never stopped smiling, even as more and more of his childhood was taken away from him.
Ty often talked about jumping in muddy puddles. It was the thing he wanted to do most when he got better. That idea alone, the joy found in the simple act of jumping in a muddy puddle, is a perfect demonstration of how incredibly beautiful childhood can be. What it is supposed to be all about.
Ty died on October 17, 2012 and he is finally free to jump in muddy puddles, ride his bike in the rain, dance on the rooftop and bounce among the clouds.
Simple. Share your stories of how Ty has inspired you to have fun. Send in your photos of your children getting totally messy and acting silly. Give them piggy back rides to bed and let them have “one more story” before going to sleep. If they want to use finger paints instead of crayons – let them.
We collect your stories and display them on the Muddy Puddles website launching in the spring of 2013. We consider this celebration of childhood as a therapeutic reprieve for parents, and an opportunity for our kids to have more fun while they still appreciate what that means.