Age 13 – Medina, Ohio
Tate is an 8th grader in Medina, Ohio. Tate’s family “has always celebrated Neutropenia as a part of Tate that makes him stronger”, in turn, making their family stronger. Tate and his family have been big supporters of a few of the other Junior Ambassador’s events over the years. They have also attended many of the Neutropenia Network’s family conferences. Tate’s mom, Gretchen, has shared a bit about Tate’s journey as well as how he has earned the title of one of our Junior Ambassadors for 2023-2024….
Tate was diagnosed with Neutropenia at 16 months. After all the illnesses and unexplained fevers, we were relieved to have an answer. Starting G-CSF was not only life-saving, it provided a “normal life.” Tate has always proudly shown other kids how brave he is for taking a shot. He does well, though he has had several stays at the hospital over the years. Although he doesn’t like those episodes at the time, now he says when he thinks about them, they actually make him feel special and strong because he can get through them and get back to normal. Although Tate would probably like a cure, he is much more focused on having a pill someday because a pill would make him feel even more normal. Tate thinks of his Neutropenia as being allergic to germs. His cousins are allergic to food dye, and he prefers his allergy to theirs because he can eat Superman ice cream.
Tate has been advocating and raising money for Neutropenia since before he could talk. Due to the coronavirus, his normal opportunities to advocate and raise money for Neutropenia were curbed. Normally every summer his old daycare has a fundraising event called “Tate’s Race” where they have an obstacle course. Tate talks to the kids about what it’s like to have Neutropenia and getting a shot every day. Tate wants to connect with other kids and help them “be okay” with having Neutropenia. He hopes to be able to work with the NNN to create videos for kids that can be posted on the NNN website.
Tate attended the Family Retreat this summer (2023) and played an integral role in the Kids Camp as well as breakout sessions that included talking with parents about what it’s like to be a teenager with Neutropenia. Tate will continue in his role as Junior Ambassador for 2023-2024. We can’t wait to see what you do next Tate!