Community rallies around boy in need of surgery

Community rallies around boy in need of surgery

Posted: Updated:
JOHNS CREEK, Ga. -

The Johns Creek community is coming together to help a 9-year-old Johns Creek boy in need of expensive brain surgery that's not covered by his family's insurance.

Tyler Lillard has epilepsy due to a brain tumor on his optic nerve. His mother, Tina, says he has suffered as many as 50 seizures in one day.

"It's difficult because you don't know what they're going to come, you don't know how severe they'll be, you don't know how long they'll last," said Tina Lillard.

The 9-year-old boy is getting ready to head to the Mayor Clinic in Minnesota for brain surgery. He said he's not afraid; he just wants to get better.

"If they take my brain tumor out, I'll be perfect. I'll be fine," said Lillard.

The surgery costs $250,000, and Tina says her insurance company has denied her claim six times.

Her community has stepped in to help. Hundreds of people came out to a fundraiser for Tyler on Wednesday at the Sugar Mill neighborhood.

Tyler says one of the highlights was meeting Atlanta Falcons star Jason Snelling, who also has epilepsy.

Snelling says he wanted to share his experience with Tyler.

"I've been dealing with epilepsy since I was 13 years old. There's good days and bad days, but fortunately for me, I was able to persevere through epilepsy," Snelling said. "It's still an everyday battle."

The family says the support they've received from Snelling and the hundreds of people who attended the fundraiser make them feel like they're not going through this alone -- they're a team.

"The support, the prayers – everything has just been, it's overwhelming but in a good way," said Tina Lillard.

The surgery is scheduled for June 19. The recovery is expected to last about three months.

Proceeds from the event benefited Team Tyler. Click here for more information on the Team Tyler.

To make a donation, visit: http://www.gofundme.com/tylersepilepsyjourney

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