Asbury Park concert event honors teen cancer victim

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ASBURY PARK -

It was a bittersweet celebration in Asbury Park Friday with a concert event to honor a young cancer patient.

Tyler Farnsworth, 13, died Wednesday, just two days before the event, which was supposed to be a fundraiser for him. But when the Oklahoma boy’s parents found out that organizers were planning to cancel the concert out of respect, they urged them to hold it anyway as a celebration of their son’s life.

Farnsworth was diagnosed with a rare form of brain cancer known as glioblastoma. It affects 2 in 100,000 people every year. It is the same type of cancer that killed U.S. Sen. John McCain earlier this year.

The event, held at the legendary Wonder Bar, was organized by Mike Maguire, founder if the Little By Little Foundation. Maguire’s wife Kim also succumbed to the illness.

“She died from it after a 19-month battle in February 2017,” he says.

Maguire says that he and his wife talked about creating a foundation to help support families caring for children with brain cancer. About a month after her passing the Little By Little Foundation was born.  Mike named the foundation after his Kim’s favorite mantra.

“It’s the leading killer of children with cancer in the United States and worldwide,” he says. “Whatever it was, she wanted to help kids affected by the disease.”

The Little By Little Foundation also aims to bring awareness to childhood cancer, which Maguire says is woefully underfunded.

“Only 4 percent of funding for cancer research goes to children with cancer. Something that’s just not right,” says Maguire.

All of the proceeds from Friday’s concert event will go to Farnsworth’s family to help pay for funeral expenses and other medical bills.

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