When Ty Murray was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, a cancer of the sympathetic nervous system, parents Carmen and Scott were told the disease’s survival rate for five years was 30 percent. Ty was 16 months old.
Since then, he has endured seven rounds of high-dose chemotherapy, a stem cell transplant and 27 rounds of radiation, a regimen so grueling it has left him with high-frequency hearing loss.
But the moment Ty saw Santa Claus climb out of a police rescue helicopter at Moffett Field — making his annual pilgrimage to visit sick kids at the Cops Care Cancer Foundation’s Fantasy Flight — he forgot about all of that, wondering what the jolly elf had in the bag slung over his shoulder. It turned out to be a Buzz Lightyear action figure from “Toy Story 3,” which was just what Ty, who had turned 4 a day earlier, wanted.
He was one of 125 kids with cancer or other life-threatening illnesses who came to NASA Ames Hangar N211 on Saturday for the event, put on annually since 2004 by the organization, founded by San Jose police officer Brian Simuro, himself a childhood cancer survivor.