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Location: Athens, Ga, United States

Our son Ryan was diagnosed with stage 4 Neuroblastoma in 2004. In 2007, my wife Missy was diagnosed with stage 2 triple negative breast cancer. On July 8th, 2009, Missy lost her battle to this horrible disease. 2 days later, on July 10th, Ryan also lost his. Together forever, they both watch over our family now from the heavens above. Below is our families journey through Ryan's treatments, along with the joy and laughter we tried to instill into our daily lives. Those days helped us all cope with the pain and suffering that comes with cancer and it's deadly treatments. Both Missy and Ryan endured high doses of chemo, radiation and surgeries. Over 150 nights spent in the hospital and many, many more days. More transfusions than I could count. Yet both Missy and Ryan took on each day with a positive attitude and warm smile for all their friends. We miss them terribly. They will always be a shining light in our lives.

Friday, February 25, 2005


Keep on, Keeping on

Radiation seems to be going well. Ryan was sick tonight, but I don't think it is related to his treatments. He seemed to feel better afterwards. He was so worried that we would have to rush off to the hospital. He wasn't able to go to Matt's because Matt was sick. Stuff is just going around. He has been inseparable from his remote control Hummers his Nanny got for him. He has taken them to the soccer field and to radiation. He tried putting his tubes under his pillow, but I told him no tube fairy could afford those tubes. No amount of money or prize could ever compensate him for those. :) We built a volcano at Ryan's insistence. He, Heidi, and Will took turns erupting it. He loved being able to finally take a shower. We go back to the clinic on Thursday. I dread those labs without his tubes. Friday will be Day + 50 and we are expecting him to go back to school unless we get told otherwise on Thursday. Please continue to pray that the cancer is GONE and will NEVER come back.

Thursday, February 24, 2005


God, shine your light on these children

As we write updates on Ryan's web site we try so hard to keep it upbeat, positive and energizing while we progress through the treatment phase, as do our friends in the same place.
It's been a day since I read about a little boy named Stanton.. I am still not the same. Why is it that we as parents of these sick little children feel the need to preview the possible outcome of our own child's future. The reading is absolutely heart wrenching as we are transported into their painful lives, yet it's virtually impossible to turn away.
I am now a firm believer that Jesus was smiling during his final hours on this earth, just as I would be if I were given the same opportunity to give my life to guarantee Ryan a long, peaceful, pain free life with the absolute joy of raising a family of his own.
As each day falls by the way side and we are closer to the end of Ryan's treatment, what is his destiny? where will we be next year? how can we hold it together?
My faith in Ryan overcoming this disease is 100 thoughts forward, 1 thought back. Today just happened to be the latter. :(
Thank you so much for thinking of Ryan today and stopping by. God bless all of us.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005



You would have thought we had enough stress in our lives, why get a dog? Well, he's gone. The only good thing he did was sleep on Ryan's bed, and Clifford (you know, the big red dog?) was already good at that. After gearing up for him and watching him tear up the house, it was time for him to go. He couldn't stand being alone while I take Ryan for his radiation. Ryan is perfectly ok with it. He started radiation on Monday and he thought "it was fun". He gets shot with the laser beam for about 20 secs front and back and we're done. This will be his routine for about 3 1/2 weeks. We stopped by Camp Sunshine today and signed up for Family Camp. He is so excited about that. He will get to go spend the night at Matt's house on Friday and stay with him on Saturday while we take Will to Dalton for his Odyssey of the Mind competition. It will be a long day and several hours in the car. Matt's house will definitely be more fun. He has been looking forward to that for a long time, but we have waited for him to get his tubes out. Will had his basketball party on Sunday. His team contributed $100 to Coaching for the Cure. We are going to try and get his coach's picture with his t-shirt in the paper to spread the word about this great way to make a donation. I will get Les to put a link to Coaching for the Cure. That is all the news for now. Thank you for your continued prayers. Please keep up the great work and remember all our little friends, too. Love, Les, Missy, Heidi, Will and Super Ryan

Friday, February 18, 2005


Totally Tubular, Not !

This was the day Ryan has been waiting for. A huge milestone has been crossed. It has been almost 9 months of two very stiff tubes hanging about 8" out of his chest and they are finally gone!! One teeny, tiny drawback is that labs will have to be drawn the old fashioned way, from his arm (ouch). He is now counting down 10 days until he can hit the jacuzzi. After Dr. Pitt removed the tubes, he gave them to Ryan to do with what he wants (frame them, burn them?). We'll wait awhile to see what he decides. Once waking up and shaking off the anesthesia, we were off to get his usual cheese burger, fries and a chocolate shake. All in all, it was a very good day. Radiation, here we come...

Tuesday, February 15, 2005


OK, Make That a Busy Week !

Friday is the day Ryan has waited for, for a long time. He will get his tubes out at 1:15. What a great day it will be! He had a CT Scan today at Emory. Something about lying still makes his feet itch. They marked his tummy and made a form for him to lie on for his radiation treatments. The form will ensure that he lies in the same place every day. We have tomorrow free of appointments, hooray! He goes back to the clinic Thursday morning and then upstairs for pre-op with Dr. Pitt. The surgery on Friday is an out-patient procedure. I hope he will feel up to celebrating the big event. Tucker started last night at the foot of Ryan's bed, but by this morning he was snuggled up with Ryan. I don't think Ryan minded. :) Thank you all for your continued support and prayers. Caroline is going back in tomorrow for her second transplant and Ethan will go in soon after. Please continue to pray for these great kids and their families. Love, Les, Missy, Heidi, Will, and SuperRyan

Monday, February 14, 2005


Ryan and Tucker's first of many photos Posted by Hello


Whew! What a busy day!

Ryan has had a VERY busy day. Miss Jill was here at 9 this morning for school work and then we hurried off to Emory to find out about radiation. He goes back tomorrow for a CT scan. We are hoping to get this phase started pretty soon. They predict he will get daily radiation for about 3 1/2 weeks. A very long drive for a three minute procedure!! He was starving after we left Emory and ate an entire McDonald's cheeseburger (his first in SO long). Will brought him home Valentines from his teachers and his class. We had a great time reading the cards and letters. And then, finally, Tucker arrived just before bedtime. Ryan, Heidi, and Will had a blast playing with him around the house. We fixed a place at the foot of his bed for Tucker to sleep. Ryan was so sweet. Out of the blue he thanked Les and I for letting him have a dog in the house. The last bit of news is MAJOR to us and Ryan: he will be getting his tubes taken out very soon. We expect to hear from Dr. Pitt's office tomorrow to schedule the surgery to remove his central line. It hasn't worked since Wed. morning and it only presents an infection risk to have them in. This is really big for Ryan. He equates the tubes with his sickness and we know he will really feel like he is getting better once they are out. I will post and let everyone know when we have an appt. to get them out. Please pray that what should be a simple procedure turns out that way. And throw in a prayer that Tucker turns out to be as good a dog as Athens Canine Rescue says. Happy Valentine's Day!!

Thursday, February 10, 2005


Return of the Jedi (to Scottish Rite)

Ryan was back on his video games at Scottish Rite today. It was great to see everybody again. We had trouble with his line just like last week. Dr. Anderson said if it doesn't get better they will just go ahead and remove it. Ryan would love that, except that he will have to be stuck for all his labs. Yucch! We will be at Emory next week to get radiation started. He will only have radiation to his primary tumor site. We were relieved to hear that. He was disappointed he didn't get to go to the Valentine Dance at school, but we keep reminding him that he will be back at school before he knows it. We are looking for him a perfect pup- perfect for him, that is. Please remember Ryan and our little friends who are also fighting this horrible disease in your prayers.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005


Look, no teef. Posted by Hello

Monday, February 07, 2005


So Long Egleston, and Thanks!!

Ryan got a great check-up today from Dr. Haight. She released him back to his doctors at Scottish Rite. They will set up his radiation. Thank you Drs. Haight, Chiang, and Horan for taking such good care of Ryan. Ya'll are a superb team.

Sunday, February 06, 2005


Enjoying that first bite of McDonald's Posted by Hello


Ryan's stem cells ready for infusion Posted by Hello

Friday, February 04, 2005


Ryan and his very heavy IV pole headed out for a few laps Posted by Hello

Thursday, February 03, 2005


Getting Out and About (oot and aboot, eh?)

We were back at the clinic a day early today. We had a little scare with Ryan's central line. He cried out in pain for the last two nights anytime we tried to flush either of his tubes. They looked at it with a video x-ray and it looked fine. No pain in the clinic, of course. There is just something about taking a sick kid to the hospital that fixes things. Big news for Ryan today: He got to eat at MCDONALD'S !!! You should have seen the look on his face when Dr. Haight told him it would be ok. He got chicken nuggets, a fish filet, fries, and a pie. I only wish he could have eaten it all. He went to see a movie on Tuesday. There were only 4 other people in the theater so he could take off his mask. I took him to the grocery store and he bought 2 of every kind of junk he could find. He talks about food non-stop. He wants to eat so badly, and his taste buds are coming back a little every day. FORM has given us a sneak-peek on an event tentatively scheduled for March 4th-which also happens to be Day +50- a major landmark for Ryan. We are very excited and all plan on being there. Mark your calendars and watch for upcoming news. If you get a chance, please sign Ryan's guestbook. Thanks for all your prayers. Keep up the good work. Love, Les, Missy, Heidi, Will and SuperRyan

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