Story highlights courageous boy
“Tyler’s Mountain Magic” is a story based on the late Tyler Moore’s adventure leading his junior high wrestling team to a victorious season while battling cystic fibrosis.
Author Malcolm Ater coached the Harpers Ferry Junior High wrestling team with Tyler’s father, Bill, when Tyler came out for the team in seventh grade.
“He was the toughest little guy I’ve ever known in my life,” Bill said.
And Ater agrees.
“Tyler was probably the most courageous teenage boy I’ve every known,” he said.
Ater said when Tyler initially came to wrestle for him his first year in junior high school, he “puffed out his chest” and declared he had wrestled for the area’s junior league. Ater admits while Tyler wasn’t the best wrestler, he never gave up. And in his ninth grade year, Tyler had the dream to be the only sports team in the state to win all 40 games and matches in a single season.
“Tyler probably knew he didn’t have a lot of time here,” Ater said of his wrestler who battled with cystic fibrosis. “I think he always wanted to make his mark.”
Ater’s book chronicles Tyler’s journey, as well as the team’s, that season as well as his personal battle with his disease.
“The boy never quit,” Ater said. “He didn’t know how to quit.”
Debra Lambert, Tyler’s mother, said it took her years to accept that her son had a disease that may not see him through to adulthood. But Tyler looked at it a different way.
“He said, ‘Mommy, cystic fibrosis is not going to get me down’,” Lambert said, recalling the time she explained to Tyler what the disease involved. “And from there on he was just full blast.”
She even remembers wrestling matches having to be put on hold so Tyler could catch his breath.
“If you didn’t know him you wouldn’t realize he had any illness until he started coughing,” Bill said.
Bill, a former military officer, admires what his son went through.
“I’ve never been through anything that Tyler went through,” he said. “He’s absolutely been an inspiration to me my entire life. That boy – he was pretty much my hero.”
“Tyler’s Mountain Magic” book launching will be Saturday, April 16 at the Entler Hotel from 2 until 5 p.m. Ater and Tyler’s parents and some of his former teammates will be in attendance, and $5 from each sale will be donated to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation in Tyler’s name.
“I thank (Malcolm Ater) so much for keeping Tyler’s memory alive,” Lambert said. “He was my heart, blood and soul.”
“It never gets better,” Bill said. “But Tyler never would have wanted any of us to shut down If nothing else, I carry on because of him.”
For more information, visit www.blueridgemountainbooks.com.