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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.

Monday, October 31, 2005


Our Adorable Hobgoblins

Does anyone see the slight resemblance in Ryan in his costume and how he looked during his transplants? :) The kids had a great time trick or treating tonight, but I think they had more fun scaring all the trick or treaters that came up the sidewalk. When we left there had been well over 500 kids come by. Will had a good visit at the pediatrician's office. I just knew he had strep throat, but not!! He had a great time making fun of me walking in my beautifully fashionable boot. It was great to be able to get out and move around a little. My foot really doesn't hurt anymore, but that boot is heavy!! So we are all looking forward to a normal day tomorrow. Ryan's last soccer game is Thursday and we will have a little party afterwards at The Sweet Tooth where all the kids will get their awards. I know he is looking forward to that. Thanks for checking in on us and for your prayers. Your support means so much to us. Love, Les, Missy, Heidi, Will, and SuperRyan


more halloween pics



Let me start by telling you about Ryan's clinic appt. last Thursday. It was surreal when we got off the elevator and the waiting room was completely empty. Well, not completely empty, Kellie Porter was there waiting to see us. CHOA and Aflac are so very lucky to have her working for them as are we. She is so determined to raise lots of funds for the hospital and for cancer research. She stayed with us during Ryan's appt. and kept us company during the down times. Normally, there is a lot of down time waiting for this or that, but not this time. Although, it is great to usually run into someone we know and can catch up with, it was awesome to see the clinic empty. I imagined that this is what it will be like when we have found a cure. Unfortunately, it was only empty because so many of the staff are gone to a conference. He had a good visit with Dr. Anderson and Dr. Rapkin. Something about Dr. Rapkin brings out the little devil in Ryan and a life to him when he is the sickest. It is amazing how great he is with all the kids. Ryan's counts are good, and we should hear on the catecholomines today or tomorrow. We went on for the audiology appt. even though we knew he, more than likely, still had fluid in his ear. Well, we found out he has fluid in both ears. Dr. Anderson feels it is probably viral, but we are to stay the course with our antibiotic. The audiologist went ahead with the eval., but we had to stop before we got finished. Ryan just didn't feel well, and became upset and frustrated. His hearing seems to have gotten considerably worse, and I know it was difficult for him to try and listen so intently and still not be sure if you heard the beeps or not. We are going to try again Dec 1. So we are off of clinic trips for the whole month of Nov. Hooray!! Hopefully, when we go back, his ears will be clear and we can get an accurate evaluation of his hearing. We carved our pumpkin last night. Heidi did an awesome job drawing his face. Les took the kids to a spook house last night in Athens put on by the Athens Creative Theatre. They had a great time. Today is Book Character Day at school, so Ryan wore his clone trooper costume. I hope his teacher remembers that Star Wars is a book, too. Will is home with me, and we are going to see the doc when we can get an appt. We are going to toast our pumpkin seeds and make our pumpkin cookies, if we can find a pie pumpkin somewhere. The kids are very excited about Trick or Treating tonight. We will go to my brother's house in historic Statham. It will be fun for me just sitting and watching all the kids come by. Thanks for checking in on us, and please continue to pray for Ryan. Love, Les, Missy, Heidi, Will, and SuperRyan

Saturday, October 29, 2005


Hiiiiiiiiii-Yah !!!!

Ryan has been feeling really good the last 24 hours so maybe he has kicked it. Ears and eyes seem a lot better. It sure is nice to see him laugh and play!
I have two more under the weather though. It seems Will has a touch of the flu and Missy had surgery on her foot yesterday so she can't walk. Her pain killers make her pretty nauseated so she may stick with the regular over-the-counter stuff. She will be in a walking cast for 4-6 weeks but this first week is going to be pretty tough on her. It doesn't take much for us mere mortals to be brought to our knees when we're sick so it gives us a true perspective of the battle our SuperRyan has waged over the last year and a half! He made it through unbelievable treatments, pain, and anguish with attitude and will of a warrior. We are so proud of him. His mental discipline is a perfect fit for his latest sport, Karate. He sure loves going... the outfit is a big plus also! Love Les, Missy, Heidi, Will and SuperRyan

Tuesday, October 25, 2005


Back to the Pediatrician today

Ryan went on to school this morning and stayed until lunch time. We are so thankful for our friends at school that take such good care of him. Thank you, Valerie, for letting him rest on your bean bag and for giving him some Sprite. Les took him back to the Pediatrician to see about his ear and his eye that was really red. We have about every medicine we could possibly need at home, except pink eye medicine. He has another ear infection and pink eye. So, he is on a different antibiotic, and eye-drops, which he hates. He got some good rest after he got home. I couldn't begin to guess how he will feel in the morning. I will have to call to see if they will still do the hearing test on Thursday. I certainly don't want to go and hang out for several hours at Scottish Rite!! Been there, done that a few times. Please pray that Ryan will be able tolerate the eye drops and that the medicines will do their job so he will feel better quickly. Thank you so much for your prayers. We are lucky, too, to have all our prayer warriors out there. Love, Les, Missy, Heidi, Will, and SuperRyan



Ryan came in at 1 am not feeling well again. His fever was 103.5. A little motrin, some juice and a soft spoken question as he lays beside me, "why does this bad stuff always happen to me" :( We just want him to be better...healthy. His 40 pound frame has just never received enough time between bumps in the road to make him feel like he's completely beaten this thing. Hopefully it's something small that Dr. Anderson can take care of Thursday. He really wants to go to school in the morning, we'll see.
Goodnight and God bless.

Monday, October 24, 2005


Gearing up for BOOOO-day!

Sorry for the lapse in updating. We have been so busy. Ryan loves karate. He gets so excited just to go to practice. He has three soccer games this week. Les filled in as coach tonight. We quit keeping score after 10-0. His biggest challenge was getting the smaller players to score. It was so cold out there. Our ref was kind enough to let the kids wear their jackets on the field. Ryan was actually out of school today. He woke up with a low-grade fever so I kept him home. He had a drs. appt. anyway to re-check his ears. He complained of his other ear hurting today and yesterday, and an infection may be brewing, but our pediatrician didn't want to start an antibiotic just yet. He has a complete hearing eval on Thursday, so I know they will re-check his ears then at Scottish Rite. He will see Dr. Anderson on Thursday, also. His scans have been scheduled for Dec. 6 and 7. Please pray that they will be clear, and while you're praying ask for quick results and a low stress level :) It seems hard to believe that the first questionable scan was the second week of school. We would sure like these scans to be unquestionably clear. If you are thinking about your Christmas cards yet, you might consider either the Aflac Holiday cards that you can purchase online, or the CureSearch Holiday cards that can also be purchased online by clicking on the Reach the Day armband link on the left of the site. Speaking about shopping... Ryan can't wait for Halloween! He loves to dress-up in the scariest possible costumes. He has an extensive wardrobe of outfits, masks and all the accessories. His favorite stores are Party City, Target, and Walmart. We put our Frankenstein man out by the road so all the kids on the school bus can get a close look at him each morning. It looks really cool with all the orange lights in the morning. I still can't believe how dark it is at 7 when the boys get on the bus. We will certainly be posting some pictures of Halloween next week. I really want to get some pictures of Ryan at karate, too. He is so cute. Thanks so much for checking in on us. Please continue to pray that Ryan's cancer is gone and will never come back. We hope you have a great week. Love, Les, Missy, Heidi, Will, and SuperRyan

Sunday, October 16, 2005


Thank you, Cure, for a great day!!

We all went to Six Flags today as guests of the CURE Foundation. This is a once a year celebration for all children that were stricken with cancer and have completed their treatment. What a crowd!! Ryan walked the whole day, we couldn't believe how his stamina is coming back. We saw a few familiar faces. It is always so great to catch up with families in person. Ryan's first ride of the day was in the front seat of the Scream Machine. He was smiling and laughing the whole time. He won this beautiful blue crocodile and named him "Croca-naga". He has such an imagination. We hung on in the park till about 6 and decided we could go no further (well, mom and dad). We have a busy week ahead with awards nights at their schools, soccer games, and a re-check at his pediatrician's. The kids brought home some excellent report cards last week. We just couldn't be prouder of them. Ryan starts Karate tomorrow. He is so excited. Soccer will be over in a few weeks :( Heidi and Will are signed up for basketball, but Ryan has wanted to do Karate for years. I wish we had a couple of weeks before it started, but we don't have any control over that. We are collecting donations for Coaching for the Cure for all three soccer teams. We are so thankful that our coaches are more than happy to participate in such a rewarding cause. Can you imagine what they could do if every little league team in the country participated just once? What a thought!! Well, we hope ya'll have a great week with your families. Thank you so much for your prayers for our family and Ryan. Love, Les, Missy, Heidi, Will, and SuperRyan

Wednesday, October 12, 2005


Test Drive a Volvo...

Volvo will donate $20 to Alex's Lemonade Stand for simply taking a test drive. It only lasts until Oct. 16. Sorry for the late notice, but I just found out about it. You can visit Alex's Lemonade link at the side and then scroll down to the Volvo link for further details. If you're a golfer, don't forget about theCureSearch Hayley Thomson Challenge that will be held Monday, November 14 at Cherokee Country Club. Visit to get more information. Ryan got a good check up from Dr. Nadia. Dr. Marcus was stuck out of town. They want us to come back in 6 months for another check-up. Ugh! I can't really complain, though. Six months is nothing. Before you know it, we will be starting our check-ups with Dr. George only every three months. We won't know how to act without our at least monthly visits to Atlanta. Well, that's it for now. Ryan did great at his soccer game last night. His Nanny and Grand-daddy came out to watch him play. Thanks for keeping us in your thoughts and prayers. We so appreciate it. Love, Les, Missy, Heidi, Will, and SuperRyan

Sunday, October 09, 2005



Ryan hasn't had anymore pain in his ear or fever. His appetite is better, too. The kids headed back to school this morning and Ryan has two soccer games this week. The pictures are from Saturday night in the garage when we got out our Halloween decorations (after Georgia kicked Tennessee's butt!). Les and the boys were practicing their best moves on the karaoke machine. I wish you could have seen them. Ryan has a 6 month check-up with Dr. Marcus at Emory today. He is looking forward to driving his r/c Hummer in to see his old buddies. As we have been throughout this journey, we are thankful for all the nurses, techs, docs, and everybody that really strive to reach out to Ryan and all his little friends and make their hospital days more fun. And, thank you to all of you for checking in on us. Hope you have an awesome week with your family. Love, Les, Missy, Heidi, Will, and SuperRyan

Thursday, October 06, 2005


Worn out from Fall Break

We had to take Ryan to see his pediatrician today. His ear was hurting, and he was running a low grade fever. He has an ear infection and maybe a little swimmer's ear. Hopefully the drops and antibiotics will take care of this very soon. His week off from school and soccer came at a great time. He needed the extra rest. He may need some extra rest just from playing so hard with his brother and sister. He is headed over to Matt's tomorrow night to spend the night. He is pretty pumped about that. We have been finding little items around the house that have taken us back to his chemo days. Under the stove we found a bright orange syringe cap that came off his Neupogen. In cleaning out the fridge we found a syringe (with a needle, which was rare!!) with either Heparin or saline still in it wedged beside the crisper drawer. It sort of gives you a weird uneasy feeling, but then a feeling of great accomplishment. We will be joining in the off-therapy celebration at Six Flags that Cure sponsors in a few weeks. The kids always love a trip to Six Flags, and we'll celebrate every day we get the chance. Thanks for checking in on us, and please keep praying for our special, special boy. Love, Les, Missy, Heidi, Will, and SuperRyan

Tuesday, October 04, 2005


Great numbers!!

We heard from Erica this afternoon. Ryan's catecholomine numbers are all in the normal range. His VMA is 5.9 (normal is 0-9) and his HVA is 7.7 (Normal is 0-15). Both of these went up slightly from last month, but nothing to worry about. At diagnosis, these numbers were around 300. So, we take this as another sign that his cancer has not returned. Please keep praying for that. The kids have been enjoying their Fall Break. They spent Sunday night at my Mom and Dad's and last night at their friend's, the Greshams. I will be glad to have them all home tonight. Thanks for checking in on us. Hope you have a great week. Love, Les, Missy, Heidi, Will, and SuperRyan

Monday, October 03, 2005


Thanks, Camp Sunshine, for a great Family Camp

It worked out great that the kids are out of school this week for Fall Break. They are worn out from Family Camp. We had a great time seeing old friends and making new ones. We hadn't seen some since their hair has come back, so they looked really different. I guess the biggest surprise was seeing Lillie Karnes and her family. Lillie was named the Princess of Hope when Ryan was crowned Prince. Heidi, Will, and, Ryan all had a great time playing with Lillie. Ryan loved gold panning, archery,. and boating, and Heidi and Will always love a good kickball game in the gym. The weather was just perfect. The show this camp was Mr. Tone, a magician/clown. It was a funny show with several folks, including Ryan, getting a pie in the face. He loved that!! No word on the catecholomines as of yet. We probably won't hear until tomorrow. The refrigerator repairman did come today. Yahoo!!! We have to order a compressor, so it looks like it will be another week. I am just glad it is under warranty. Please keep Ryan and all his little friends in your prayers. Love, Les, Missy, Heidi, Will, and SuperRyan

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