Over the past two years, Tucker Helstrom has captured the hearts of St. Michael residents with his love of all things sports, his smile, those orange “Team Tucker” shirts and his passion for life.
But Tucker’s fight against cancer was never going to be an easy one, according to those who knew and loved him. And last weekend, Tucker earned the ultimate victory when he escaped cancer’s grip, dying July 2, 2016 at the age of 9.
“It wasn’t the win any of us wanted, the win we imagined,” his family wrote on Tucker’s Caring Bridge site. “There is only one tiny way the demon was more powerful- in his cells. And that is the only place it won. In every other way, Tucker beat this thing and Tucker is triumphant in being the most amazing and heroic 9 year old any of us will ever know.”
Services were held Thursday and Friday, July 7 and 8 in Hopkins and Eden Prairie, MN for the boy who helped all of us form “Team Tucker.” He made one of his last public appearances at the Chad Smith Ride for Life – his family was a beneficiary of the annual motorcycle ride. Tucker’s smile lit up Ditto’s Bar parking lot as the engines roared and the music sounded.
But Tucker’s osteosarcoma had spread to his brain, and for that there was no cure, no recovery, his family said.
Here’s the full obituary, courtesy of Tucker’s family:
Tucker Judd Helstrom was escorted to heaven by the angels on July 2, 2016, at age 9 1/2, where he was received with open arms by his paternal grandmother Judy Kay (Anderson) Helstrom and his great-grandmother MaryAnn “GG” Malinsky, whom he knew and loved for three years. He is also preceded by his great-grandparents, Edwin and Anna Anderson, Kenneth and Florence Helstrom, Frank Malinsky, and Dudley and Evelyn Anderson. After an 8-month battle with osteosarcoma, Tucker left this world surrounded by his extensive loving family, held in the arms of his mom Dana Anderson O’Brien (Kevin) and dad Judd Helstrom. He will be greatly missed by his two sisters, Kayci and Siera; grandparents, Gary Helstrom, Dan and Gerry Anderson, step-grandparents, Pat and Edy O’Brien; his aunts and uncles, Kristine (Jeff) Boedigheimer, Lisa (Gregg) Leininger, Sara (Cap) O’Rourke, Mark (Jenny) Anderson, Ryan (Katie) Anderson, and step-aunt, Jenn (Nelson) Bier. His adoring cousins include Amy, Sophie, and Maggie Leininger, Hailey and Henry Anderson, Mason and Paige O’Rourke, Olive and Frances Anderson, Anna and Maren Boedigheimer, Patrick, Armand, Lucy, and Michael Bier. His many friends at ISLA, the St Michael community, Hopkins Youth Hockey Association (HYHA), Hopkins Area Little League (HALL), and the Minnesota Wild hockey team will miss him dearly. As a natural athlete, Tucker used sports as a way to make and be a friend. His high energy, sense of humor, and love for life drew everyone to him. No one who met Tucker could ever forget him. Throughout his fight with cancer. Tucker astounded his doctors, family, and friends with his resilience and tenacity. His fortitude and courage helped all of us become better people. Tucker was the ultimate loving son and brother. His twinkling ice-blue eyes, warm smile, sweet nature, and loving heart will be remembered forever. The Celebration of Tucker is Thursday, July 7, 2016 from 4:00-8:00 pm at Hopkins Pavilion: 11000 Excelsior Blvd, Hopkins. On Friday, July 8 there will be a visitation at 10:00 am, funeral at 11:00 am, and luncheon following, all at St Andrew Lutheran Church: 13600 Technology Drive, Eden Prairie, MN. In lieu of flowers, donations to the family will be given in Tucker’s name by his sisters to the Rein In Sarcoma Foundation and the Zach Sobiech Foundation.