Ryan’s Story

In August, 2010, Ryan was a happy, healthy, active six year old boy. When he started complaining of specific aches and pains, his concerned parents sought medical attention. They never imagined the journey they were about to embark upon. Shortly after entering the hospital that month, Ryan was diagnosed with a non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma called Burkitt’s Lymphoma. He had multiple tumors, some of which caused him excruciating pain and severely limited his physical capabilities. He was unable to walk or control muscles in his lower body. Ryan immediately began receiving aggressive chemotherapy to get rid of the cancer. He has spent more days in the hospital than at home since his initial diagnosis. His school, church, and extended communities have rallied around him and his family, creating a team of love and support to help him on his journey. On March 17, 2011, Ryan and his parents got GREAT news: new scans and tests showed No Evidence of Disease.
Ryan was cancer free! He then entered a rigorous physical therapy schedule to regain full mobility and strength in his lower body. On May 10, 2011, Ryan’s cancer returned aggressively with three tumors in his spine, causing him excruciating pain. He was readmitted to the hospital for pain management and to once again fight off cancer. Two days later he began radiation treatment and another grueling chemo protocol.
One of the new tumors was inside Ryan’s spinal cord paralyzed him from the midchest down. Ryan continued to meet this challenge with courage, strength, humor, and wisdom far beyond his years. His parents, Kristen and Bob, call him their hero. On Wednesday August 10, 2011, wrapped in the love of his parents, Ryan went home to God. He’s free now, free from his pain, free from his suffering, free from having to fight.
Our hearts are shattered beyond description, but we take comfort in knowing that Ryan is at peace, running and playing and fishing and laughing in the forever.