Colin Kiyoshi Hayward Toland, age 10, of Ithaca, NY returned to the cosmos peacefully and gently in the loving embrace of his family on Saturday, March 17, 2018, at St. Jude Childrenâs Research Hospital in Memphis, TN. He lived a full and meaningful life that was shaped but not defined by ependymoma, a brain tumor he was diagnosed with at age two.
Though often described as a fighter, Colin did not truly fight; he endured with a positive attitude and he never saw himself as a victim of fate. He set foot into the world with confidence and self-possession and always asserted he was lucky. St. Jude was always a special home to Colin and his time there was the genesis for his commitment to service and further involvement in fundraising events. His advocacy at phonathons, galas, luncheons, and TV appearances inspired donors, fundraisers, and clinicians. Outside of work and school, Colinâs passions were chocolate, movies, mac and cheese, Minecraft, Legos, the game Hedbanz, and roughing up his brother.
Officer Colin had a successful career with the Ithaca Police Department, rising to the rank of sergeant in November 2017 after being sworn in in September 2016. His dedication to law enforcement came from a desire to help others and make the world a better place. His duties ranged from multiple classroom visits to foot patrol on the Ithaca Commons and beyond. In November 2016, he received the Kiwanis Club Frank G. Hammer Officer of the Month award.
Many people know Officer Colin through his Facebook page, where he shared safety tips and tales of his police adventures, during which he made friends from coast to coast. In other departments, Colin had the distinction of being named Honorary Chief of the Orange, CA PD and recipient of the Medal of Valor and Lieutenant in the Memphis PD, including full membership with accelerated training into the TACT (tactical) unit.
Colin was also a fifth grader and tutor at Northeast Elementary, where he delighted his classmates with his crazy sense of humor and spent time in the lower grades helping younger children. He adored his school and the after-school program, Kids Count.
After the initial treatment with multiple surgeries, chemotherapy, and radiation, Colin had to overcome tremendous deficits but always did so with good humor and determination. He enjoyed many years of remission, during which he recovered in many ways yet retained a quirky smile and gait. After the tumor returned in January 2015, Colin went through multiple surgeries and experimental treatments that allowed him to enjoy much more time with friends and family than expected. His family is forever grateful to the many medical professionals that made this possible and gave him the opportunity to travel, make new friends, and pursue a career. As Colin always said, âNever give up on your dreams.â
Colin will be lovingly remembered by his parents, Tamiko Toland and Ian Hayward, his brother Aidan (14), grandmother Toshiko Toland, and extended family. He is also survived by his brothers and sisters at the Ithaca Police Department and the Ithaca community as a whole. Special thanks to John Barber, former Chief of IPD, who recruited Colin, mentored him until his retirement last year, and continued to encourage him.
In lieu of flowers, please plant perennials in his honor or donate to St. Jude in memory of Colin Hayward Toland at www.giftfunds.stjude.org/CHT or St. Jude Gift Funds, PO Box 1000, Memphis, TN 38148-0142. St. Jude provided Colinâs up-front treatment, supported his recovery, and played an instrumental role in relapse treatments and his end-of-life care. Please continue to honor Colinâs memory by helping others, even in small ways. The family will have calling hours and a community gathering at Ithaca High School on Friday, March 23 from 4:30 to 8:30 pm. Burial will be private. There will be celebrations of life at future dates in both Ithaca and Memphis. www.lansingfuneralhome.com