About Hang Tough

We're Growing Our Roots Deep into our Community

While the Hang Tough Foundation is a young organization, we have already planted deep roots in our local community and in our mission to serve the families of children with life-altering illnesses and special needs. We invite you to explore and learn more about us.

Get to know our mission, vision, and history.
Meet our Staff Members and Board of Directors.
Learn what it means to be a Hang Tough Hero, Sidekick and Family.
Find out more about our wide variety of programs, services and community projects.


Our Mission

The Hang Tough Foundation builds community and engages families through support and meaningful experiences during their journey with childhood illness and special needs.

Our Vision

Our vision is to encourage strong and resilient families to invest in one another and build a greater inclusive community.

Our History


MEET HAYLEY HART – In August 2009, four year old Hayley Hart was diagnosed with B-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. As family and friends gathered around Hayley to join her battle against cancer, the slogan “Hang Tough Hayley Hart” came to be.  Team Hang Tough Hayley Hart (HTHH) was formed to ride bicycles in Hayley’s honor in Race Across the West. As the race approached in June 2010, one of the men was unable to participate. One of the racers had an athletic coach out of Colorado Springs and Coach Brady Irwin was called in. The four men raced hard and won Race Across the West for the four man team category!
Likewise, Hayley Hart continued to Hang Tough and won her battle against cancer by finishing treatment in remission- in  November 2011. Hayley continues to do well and has received her annual health clearance! Team HTHH decided that in order to celebrate Hayley’s victory, they should band together again, and do the full Race Across America in June of 2012. They honored Hayley and came in fourth place. The journey continues…
MEET GRAYSON IRWIN – By this time, Brady Irwin had moved his wife, Janelle, and daughter, Katelyn, to Tallahassee and Janelle was pregnant with their second child. Six weeks after the race, Grayson Irwin was born-stout and healthy! Eleven days before his first birthday, August 2013-Grayson was diagnosed with Infant T-Cell Leukemia. The first person Janelle called was Hayley’s mom-Michelle. Grayson and his family live by the slogan, “Tough As Nails”.  Grayson completed his protocol in August of 2015 and is now in remission.
As Grayson underwent treatment, Janelle felt compelled to join Michelle and make her vision of a “Hang Tough House” come to life. Together, with the inspiration of Hayley and Grayson, the Hang Tough Foundation was born in February of 2015.