View Full Version : Too Young.....Too Soon.......Can You Help Save A Pool Player's Life.

08-09-2017, 05:41 PM
Last week, Tommy & his sons, T.J and Connor, travelled to Las Vegas for the BEF 9 Ball Championship 18 & Under Division where both boys were scheduled to compete.
They left on Monday, 7/31 and at midnight, T.J. turned 17 years old. So he got to celebrate his 17th birthday competing in a Las Vegas pool tournament.....pretty cool.

T.J. is a rock solid player, as is his brother, Connor, too, so hopes were high for both boys to fare well in the tournament and during the tournament, T.J. came down ill. He
competed in the tournament all the time suffering from nausea and at night his body ached with pain which he did his best to tolerate. After all, he worked so hard to improve
his game and this was his chance.. Nonetheless, something was very wrong but this all came on so unexpectedly and suddenly that one might think it was the onset of a flu?.

As events turned out, T.J. advanced in the tournament to the final 16 but by that point, he was suffering with nausea & pain and just hurt all over he had to forfeit his match. So Tommy
& his boys returned home to Fresno this past Saturday..Well, T.J. doesn't show any signs of getting better so Tommy took T.J. to the emrgency room. So here we have this young
pool player, whom in my opinion will become a world champion just like his dad was. He conducts himself with etiqutte and good sportsmanship and always "Wins With Grace &
Loses With Dignity." There is just nothing not to like about this youg man........and he just went to Vegas on his 17th birthday last week.

Today, Tommy Hill posted on his FB page a message that every parent has to fear. T.J. went to the hospital to find out what was going on and he won;t be coming home until next
week. Read below for yourself.........I cannot imagine what his agony must be like but know that T.J. is handling this like a Special Ops Navy Seal. I am going to start a GoFundMe
account for T.J.and I hope that the readers of this thread will keep T.J. in their prayers. In the meantime, T.J will remain at Valley Children;s Hospital until next Wednesday when he
returns home to continue his chemo treatment. Once a GoFundMe account gets established, I will update everyone. Meanwhile,if you want to send a get well card to a great kid
that will someday be a world champion: T.J. Hill, Valley Children's Hospital, 9300 Valley Children's Pl, Madera, CA 93636, (559) 353-3000.

Imagine for a moment that you left to go to Vegas to play in a national pool tournament where you expected to do well, But instead you come down sick, return home to learn that
you are now fighting for your life......one helluva birthday present if you ask me. Maybe we can collectively do something to help this young, deserving teenager get back on his feet
and at the same time, .also bolster his spirits. Let's all try to remember......."There But For The Grace Of God Go Thee." Thank you for reading this thread and hopefully caring about
T.J.'s new challenge after returning home from the BEF 9 Ball Championship 18&U.This younster does not know the word "quit".......he made the final 16 racked with pain he was
experiencing from Leukemia he had no idea was attacking his body. If ever there was a person that I'd be proud to call as my son, T.J is the first name on my list & Connor is second.

Matt B.

08-09-2017, 06:07 PM
Hopefully this young man is able to beat this and make a return to his normal life very soon. Thoughts and Prayers to him and his family.

08-09-2017, 06:39 PM
I lost my brother at 18 to Leukemia in 93.

I wish you all well....


08-09-2017, 08:12 PM
All my best wishes and prayers. So very sad, but treatment is better today than ever before. Hopefully soon there will be a complete cure.

08-09-2017, 08:49 PM
So sorry to hear this about a promising young player. Will keep him and his family in my prayers. Please keep us posted.

08-10-2017, 04:10 AM
Wow. Puts everything in perspective quick. Looks like a tuff kid who will fight like hell. Life just corner-hooked him and i see him goin three rails for the win.

Ky Boy
08-10-2017, 07:43 AM
My thoughts, heart and prayers go out to this young man and his family.

Enduring these treatments requires unimaginable strength from everyone close to him.

Best wishes!

08-10-2017, 07:46 AM
Thanks garczar.....I think it's a shot he can and will pull off........T.J. has more spine than most men a lot older than him.

08-11-2017, 07:53 PM
Anyone who has the heart to finish in the top 20 players in his age group has to have a big heart and will fight this disease like no other.Please join me in praying for him and his family, hope he is the next SVB of pool, God Bless🎱🙏🏻🎱🎱🙏🏻🏆

jay helfert
08-12-2017, 02:35 AM
My prayers going out to Tommy and TJ. I have heard of cases of spontaneous remission of leukemia that has baffled even the physicians. That's my wish for TJ! Stay strong guys and think positive thoughts.

Scott Lee
08-12-2017, 08:01 AM
Imagine my surprise, when I stopped in to Blue Fin Billiards, last night, specifically to see TJ, as I had seen and talked to him in Vegas, and knew nothing about him feeling ill, and Tommy gives me this news. I'm shocked, saddened, and am shooting all my prayers to this fine young man. The fact that he finished in the top 16, while battling this terrible thing is nothing short of amazing! TJ...you're my hero. Stay strong and I know you'll come through this like the champion you are! :thumbup:

Scott Lee

08-12-2017, 12:30 PM
Thanks Jay.......Scott, saw TJ this morning and he's showing improvement in his
white blood cells. His attitude is realistic and pragmatic about this Leukemia &
said he'll beat it or he won't. For him it's akin to playing a tough opponent in a really
important pool match. You don't play with any thoughts of losing or trying no to and
in TJ's mind, he concentrates on beating his opponent & "winning" so any thoughts
of losing are never in his thoughts. He's handling his medical problem the same way.
This kid has a lot more spine than I would have if our roles were reversed.

p.s. A really big shout-out to Brian Parks for his video expressing support for TJ.
Brian, your ball caps will need a little tightening now but with the heat we've been
experiencing in the Central Valley of California, you'll enjoy the new scalped look.

08-13-2017, 06:08 PM
I am so sorry to see this. I will pray for him and his family as often as I can. God bless.