- Name: Ryan
- 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.
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Saturday, March 26, 2005
Best Friend Matt
Matt came over today to play with Ryan on his new "four wheeler", then we went to a race track where they race gas powered remote control cars. They really loved the speed. Wow! Ryan got extremely hot and itchy at one point so we went back to the car for a few minutes and took off his shirt and socks. A little lotion seemed to do the trick. They came back to the house and hit the pool (no heat turned on yet!) and the hot tub. Just a good day for SuperRyan.
Friday, March 25, 2005
The Cole Family
This was a "Good Friday"
There are so many people we want to thank for tonight's concert and dinner. We still don't even know everyone that needs to be thanked, we just know a lot of wonderful people worked very hard putting this evening together. The barbecue was absolutely delicious. Ryan's favorite part was the icing on the cupcakes. The music, fellowship, and genuine words of faith and encouragement uplifted us greatly. Witnessing the conviction of faith that emanated from these talented groups of artists (see pictures) was overwhelming and so very moving. I think we all felt the presence of our Good Lord filling our souls. We will compile a complete list, but for now, thank you to everyone who participated tonight. We feel completely and totally blessed. Love, Les, Missy, Heidi, Will, and SuperRyan
The DuVall Family
Thursday, March 24, 2005
A great check-up
Ryan got a great check-up today from Drs. Anderson and George
. He has gained more weight and his white count was actually in the normal range!! School has been going great. He looks forward to going each and every day. We are all looking forward to the concert tomorrow night.
Monday, March 21, 2005
Finally getting to splash after 10 months!
Looking for the Loch Ness
Slowing down, Yea!!
Ryan completely enjoyed the Pageant of Hope. I think he really liked being surrounded by all those pretty girls. Thank you Jena and all your team for a fun day for Ryan and all the special kids who took part. He was thrilled to be crowned the Prince of Hope. I have gotten together all of Ryan's central line supplies. It is amazing how much of that you can collect. Camp Sunshine is going to take it and find a use for it. Today is his first complete day of school. He was very excited to be able to stay for lunch and recess (his favorite parts of the day). Les and I want to say how very proud of Heidi and Will we are. The past nine months have been the biggest struggle any of us have ever encountered and they have kept up their school work, sports, and other activities with the same level of enthusiasm and spirit. They are such great kids and have been so supportive and protective of Ryan. Please remember the gospel concert this Friday. We are looking forward to seeing our friends. Love, Les, Missy, Heidi, Will, and SuperRyan
Our Prince of Hope (and a few of his pals)
His last radiation
The Mad Scientist preparing to erupt a volcano
Ryan and Dr. Pitt, his surgeon
Ryan and Dr. Anderson, his oncologist
Friday, March 18, 2005
Radiation is over, Hooray!!
Ryan got some awards at school today, as well as his big brother, Will. He cried when we had to leave for his LAST radiation treatment, but we made it back in time for recess. We are so glad to be finished with another phase of Ryan's treatment plan. Our techs, Greg and Cheryl, were so great to Ryan. They always made it fun for him.Visit http://www.stbaldricks.org/ShaveePhoto.asp?SolNumber=15322278 to see photos of Dr. Rapkin before and after he let one of his patients shave his head to raise money for cancer. You can also donate online at this site. Thanks, Dr. Rapkin. Tomorrow is the Pageant of Hope at 2:00 at The Lion's Club here in Winder. We hope to see some friends there. The pageant benefits Relay for Life. The relay is May 6th. Ryan will walk the first lap and we will walk with him on the 2nd lap. I will try and post some pictures after the pageant tomorrow. We have soccer and the school carnival tomorrow as well, so we will be pretty busy. The next phase of Ryan's treatment doesn't begin until day 90 after the second transplant, so we have about another month before we begin the accutane. We expect there will be scans in the next few weeks. Please pray they will continue to be clear. Love, Les, Missy, Heidi, Will, and SuperRyan
Thursday, March 17, 2005
Back At School
He is back at school this morning. He has just been begging to go, so we let him start a few days early. His class has had perfect attendance for the past several days so we feel there are a lot fewer yucchy germs at school. All the kids were excited to see him this morning. They had made a huge banner for him welcoming him back, and we are taking a Sponge-Bob cake this afternoon to celebrate. I have to take him out during the day for his last two radiation treatments. We will miss all the wonderful people (both employees and other patients) we have met at Emory, but we will certainly not miss that drive. Please pray that Ryan won't catch anything at school and that he will stay healthy. Love, Les, Missy, Heidi, Will, and SuperRyan
Back at School today!!
Saturday, March 12, 2005
Ways You Can Help
Three weeks down, one to go. Radiation doesn't seem to be slowing him down. Heidi and Will went with us yesterday as they were out of school. We popped into Egleston to see Ethan and Caroline's moms and dads. Please visit their sites and offer words of encouragement, and pray for these beautiful children. Another young boy has earned his angel wings. We saw Shane many times at Scottish Rite and he was at transplant when Ryan had his first. Shane had AML, the same type of cancer as Hayley. He lived with his grandmother and doesn't have a website. Please send them love, support, and encouragement. Their address is: Gail Harris 152 Salacoa Highlands Jasper, GA 30143. Ryan got a good check-up from Dr. Anderson on Thursday and a few tickles from Dr. Rapkin. His counts are good and we don't have to go back for 2 weeks. The word is Dr. Rapkin is going to get his head shaved to benefit Cure. It is part of a nationwide event. Go to their site for more info: http://www.stbaldricks.org/participate.asp More info on the Pageant of Hope. It will be from 2-4 on March 19 at the Winder Lions Club. Proceeds go to benefit Relay for Life. On March 25, FORM is hosting a concert and dinner for Ryan. You can get something to eat at 6 and the concert starts at 7 at The Church At Winder. The church is on Treadwell Rd. in Bethlehem just off Harry McCarty (near 316). The concert features The DuVall Family, Heavenly Expression, Surrender, The Cole Family, and Annette Herndon. Maybe we can get Ryan to do a little air guitar. He is really good at that. We are all planning on being there and look forward to seeing everybody.
Wednesday, March 09, 2005
Mark Your Calendars
Ryan sat in his desk at school today- absolutely beaming. His friends were all so glad to see him. We only stopped by for a minute for the book fair. Radiation continues to go well. We have a check-up tomorrow at Scottish Rite after his radiation. We were so thrilled to get Camp Jack's wonderful scan news. We have a few dates for you to put on your calendar. On Saturday, March 19, Ryan will participate in the Pageant of Hope at the Lion's Club to benefit Relay for Life. He has his jacket and tie all ready so he can strut his stuff! I hope those people close by will come and see him. I believe admission is $5. FORM'S next event will be Friday, March 25, at the Church at Winder. They are planning a gospel event that sounds like a lot of fun. We will post more details as we get them. Thank you all for your prayers. Keep up the good work. Love, Les, Missy, Heidi, Will, and SuperRyan
Monday, March 07, 2005
Soccer, school, swimteam, hockey, sleep-overs, radiation. Busy, busy (yeah!)
We passed Day +50 on Friday unceremoniously. It was not a big deal to Ryan. He spent the night at Matt's and that was celebration enough for us all. It was weird for him not to be here with us, but he had a ball. The boys went to the Gladiator's hockey game on Saturday night. They both got to wear their team autographed jerseys that their Nanny got them at Christmas. Ryan is not the fan that Will is. All he wanted to do was eat junk. We started our third week of radiation this morning. He asked if we could take the short-cut. Wouldn't that be great? We are all signed up for Camp Sunshine's Family Camp in April. We are looking forward to that and to meeting other families whose children we have been praying for and who have been praying for Ryan. Please pray for our friends who are still at transplant. One of the biggest struggles is to take care of your sick child in the hospital while not making your other children feel abandoned. It is a daily effort we make to keep a sense of normalcy in Heidi and Will's lives. We have to thank Les's mom, Thelma, for flying down from Canada and spending 3 months with us, enabling Heidi and Will to stay at home and never really miss a beat. That was totally awesome!! Thanks also goes to Nanny and Granddaddy for filling in on all our last minute schedule changes, picking up here, taking there, dropping off, etc., etc. We are so lucky to have so much help. We received confirmation on Ryan's wish trip. We will be cruising with Mickey and Donald in early June. I can honestly say I could walk out the door and go tomorrow without a second thought. We are THAT ready for a break! Thank you for your prayers. Ryan is feeling great and that makes us all feel good. Love, Les, Missy, Heidi, Will, and SuperRyan
Tuesday, March 01, 2005
Ryan was so excited by this morning's snow. He was thrilled he didn't have to wear his mask. It was really coming down as we left for radiation. We found out yesterday that he will have four full weeks of radiation. Please continue to pray that this is his cure and he will not have any damage to surrounding tissues or organs. Dr. Marcus said he is likely to lose 2-5 cm of his height because they are radiating his spine. He was so funny today. He got a magic trick in his Wendy's Happy Meal. He must have performed that trick 100 times on the way home saying "Hocus Pocus" every time to make the trick "work". He is just a doll!! He will probably not go back to school until he is finished with his radiation. So many kids at school are sick right now and we just don't need him to get sick. He is bummed about that, but seems to understand. He has been so patient and understanding about so much. We are so ready for things to go his way. We are thinking about getting away for Spring break. Ryan wants to celebrate getting his tubes out and we all just need some fun time together. Thank you all for your support and prayers. Love, Les, Missy, Heidi, Will, and SuperRyan