“She would sleep on a little chair or on a pullout couch,” Ferranti added. “At one time she was in the hospital with Ty for about a month, and I would send her texts of encouragement” — and photos of the beach to sooth her. “They loved Long Beach because they liked the opportunity to be near the beach and community; they loved going out to different restaurants. They frequented Magnolia Park a lot, and spent a great deal of time here.”
Ferranti described Cindy’s blog entries as “therapeutic,” and said they inspired readers from around the world who showed their support for the family. The Ty Campbell Facebook page currently has 14,148 “likes,” and Cindy has 1,000 followers on Twitter, which she launched after her son’s death in order to raise awareness of childhood cancer.
After his death, celebrities such as singer Taylor Swift and actor Chris Evans, who played Captain America — Ty was a superhero fan — took to social media websites to express their condolences to the Campbells.
“People know about Ty because of her blog and Facebook,” Ferranti said. “She’s taken advantage of social media, and she’s had a strong response from around the world.”
Hundreds of memorials were held in Ty’s honor throughout the state and across the country. Ferranti and others organized a candlelight vigil for Ty on Oct. 17, but after they received news of his death, it turned into a memorial, which attracted roughly 50 people to the Laurelton Boulevard boardwalk.
“It was kind of sad because the plan was … we were supposed to just pray,” Ferranti said. “They had asked us to do this prayer chain — there was one in Pawling and Carmel [N.Y.] — but because they had so many friends down here, they asked us to do it as well.”