Stall brave founder, tom Mitchell on The Brave Files Podcast

Still Brave

With Featured Guest

Tom Mitchell


Blog divider

Stall brave founder, tom Mitchell on The Brave Files Podcast

Still Brave

With Featured Guest

Tom Mitchell


Blog divider

Top Takeaways From This Episode

  • True bravery stems from being present in a real and authentic way.
  • Even the smallest acts of courage can make a significant impact in the lives of others.
  • Beauty can be found anywhere.

Losing a Piece of Himself

Frighteningly, what started as a seemingly normal sick visit to the doctor turned into a parent’s worst nightmare. Tom Mitchell’s oldest daughter, Shayla, thought she had a sinus infection. Instead, she suffered from a large cancerous tumor in her chest causing her lung to collapse. Sadly, Shayla had Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Suddenly, Shayla was undergoing intense cancer protocols and chemotherapy. Unfortunately, complications and hundreds of nights spent in the hospital were ahead.

Tom Mitchell Makes his daughter, Shayla Proud, Still Brave

During her battle, Shayla and Tom discussed and reflected on what it means to be brave. Tom led the way by showing strength in the face of heartache. He noticed their situation stripped away character defects – like greed and selfishness – that didn’t serve them. Their awful situation ended up showing them their most raw, authentic, and beautiful, selves. Out of these discussions, Tom’s idea of true bravery shifted.

Bravery in its Truest Form

After Shayla’s passing in 2009, Tom set out to fulfill a promise he made to his daughter. He founded Stillbrave, an organization providing non-medical supportive care to children with cancer and their families. Beautifully, Stillbrave lives out the truest form of bravery – showing up when others are at their most vulnerable.

Tattoo Tom plays with a child in the hospital waiting room

Endearingly, Tom is referred to as “Tattoo Tom.” He personally visits children in the hospital and holds their hands while they are dying. He shows up for dinner at their homes and provides real support to siblings who are often deeply impacted.  Tom is doing really incredible work, despite the difficulty. Not many of us would have the strength to do what Tom does.

Learn More About Tom

Finally, fill your life with a little more gratitude, love, and bravery by connecting with Tom on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter.

Other resources mentioned in the interview

Tom and Shayla’s story on Love What Matters

All-Star Sibling Program – Through Still Brave, siblings of cancer patients receive support, a place to connect, and reason to have fun!

Growing Hope Kids

Facts about Childhood Cancer

Make-A-Wish Foundation

Tattoo Tom is featured in three powerful Ted Talks. Bravely, Tom talks about the death of his daughter, introduces us to a young girl currently fighting childhood cancer, and educates us on how current cancer treatments are harming, rather than helping, our children. Trust us, watching them will have a significant impact on your day.

The photos included beautifully, and proudly display Tom's dedication and commitment to fighting childhood cancer and making his daughter, Shayla, proud. We see him laughing and playing with children fighting this battle on a daily basis. We see him blowing off steam and raising funds. But mostly, we see that Tom wears his heart on his tattooed sleeve. Beautiful and dedicated, Tom gives everything he has to this cause.

Tom Mitchell, Still Brave, always willing to play with kids. Fighting Childhood cancer.

With Love

Heartbreakingly, Tom says he would trade everything for one more day with Shayla. He hopes he's making her proud and we are sure he is.

Fight like hell

Tom is an unapologetically loud and proud activist. First, do yourself a favor and follow the work that Tom and Stillbrave are doing. Second, get involved and be part of the conversation so that you can help eradicate this terrible disease. Finally, spread the word about what Tom and Stillbrave are doing. This fight cannot be won without your help.

Tom Mitchell blows off steam. Still Brave. The Brave Files Podcast.

Giving is Good

Unsurprisingly, Tom asks us to support his foundation, Stillbrave. The organization can use your financial donations and nothing is too small. The non-profit provides non-medical supportive care to children battling cancer, along with their families. From financial assistance to in-person emotional support. Stillbrave is about whole family care.

The organization runs on the generosity of donors

These donations go directly to things like gas cards, gift cards for food, items for the kids, and more. If you are local to the DC Metro area, Stillbrave is always in need of volunteers to help run various programs and help with fundraisers. There is a wealth of information at Stillbrave.org, and we encourage you to consider the ways in which you can support Tom and his amazing organization.


Also, The Brave Files host, Heather Vickery, and her daughter, Tessa are donating their birthdays to The Birthday Party Project.

Please help them reach their lofty fundraising goal by donating today. Donations large and small are appreciated, even $5 can make a difference. Here’s your chance, help homeless children experience celebration and joy.

"We were experiencing life on life's terms at life's most cruelest. But we had each other, and there was beauty there."

- Tom Mitchell

Meet your Host, <em style="color:teal">Heather Vickery<em>

Meet your Host, Heather Vickery

Heather Vickery is an award-winning business owner and global leader with over 20 years as an entrepreneur. She leverages her entrepreneurial skills and expertise to coach individuals towards greater personal and professional fulfillment by helping them leverage their fear into intentional bravery. Heather says “When we choose bravely, on purpose, we choose bigger, have bigger successes and it’s contagious” A celebrated public speaker, Heather inspires audiences and empowers attendees with the tools they need to live bold and successful lives through creating balance, time management, mindfulness, as well as countless systems, strategies, and boundaries. She’s the author of Gratitude Journal: Shift Your Focus and Grow Grateful: A Gratitude Journal for Kids and Families. Heather is also the host and executive producer of The Brave Files Podcast.

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