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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.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005


One Year, Already?

Just a quick update today. Will and Ryan are about to get home from school. Ryan is doing good in spite of his cough and congestion. We are working hard with the meds to keep it at bay. We had a wonderful Thanksgiving at my Mom and Dad's and then again with the Howards and the Butterfields. The picture is of Ryan and Lauren Howard McSwain. We missed Pat! Ryan goes back for a clinic visit on Thursday and will have his hearing re-checked. It is becoming more noticeable how much he isn't hearing quite right. He spelled one of the words on his spelling pre-test 'guys' instead of 'skies'. A high frequency hearing loss will affect sounds 's', 'f', and 'th'. He told me about -otosynthesis a few weeks ago. We are going to make a quick run by Egleston to take some treats. It will be the one year anniversary of Ryan's first stemcell transplant. We've come a long way, and don't ever want to go back. Please say prayers that Ryan's scans will be clear next week. We are looking forward to the Lighthouse Christmas party this Sunday. We hope to see many friends. Thank you, friends, for keeping a check on us and for praying for Ryan. I wish you all could know his spirit and his spunk. He has been such a gift to us. Love, Les, Missy, Heidi, Will, and SuperRyan

Thursday, November 24, 2005


Three Turkeys

Words cannot express how thankful we are this year. What a difference a year makes. Last Thanksgiving we were at Egleston having high doses of chemo. We are thankful to just be at home together, for Ryan's good health, and for all of your love and support. We are thankful to hear good news from some of our cancer buddies, too. Little Jacob will be home and Mary Evelyn's stem cells are free from cancer and her surgery went great!!! We are thankful for everyday all of us have with our children. Please pray for the Wilkins family as they have been celebrating the end of Catie's treatment for a brain tumor, but something has shown up on her MRI. You can find links to all of these sites in recent entries. This picture was made Monday at Ryan's classroom Thanksgiving Feast. He made me a beautiful turkey centerpiece. We will be celebrating at my Mom and Dad's later today, and will be getting together with our Lighthouse friends tomorrow and Saturday. The kids are jazzed about that. We hope that each of you have a very blessed Thanksgiving with your families. Thank you so much for continuing to love and care about our little superhero. Love, Les, Missy, Heidi, Will, and SuperRyan

Sunday, November 20, 2005


Is that a poker face, or what?

And so goes the roller coaster, at least the dips aren't as low and scary as they used to be. Ryan feels great with only a mild cough and runny nose for a few days, and then he will have a few days where he can't seem to stop coughing. On Friday, he got to see his Winder Barrow High Cheer Dog friends. They are an awesome group on and off the mats. He maneuvered an overnight at Matt's last night. He probably does more to set up his social schedule than any of our kids!! He has a birthday party tonight at an indoor pool. I know that will be lots of fun. Dad is going to his class' Thanksgiving Feast tomorrow, which is very special for Ryan. I am so looking forward to a short week. We are excited to be having the Howards here next week for a visit, and hopefully, the Butterfields. We miss our Lighthouse friends. Ryan's next set of scans is getting closer, and we feel the stress of that creeping in more everyday. Please continue to pray that the scans will show with certainty that there are no cancer cells anywhere, especially his liver, where something has shown up the last two scans. And please pray for little Mary Evelyn who will have her surgery this week to remove her tumor. We are going to try and go down to visit them and offer any support we can. We hope you all have a wonderfully blessed Thanksgiving. This will be a special day for us since last year we couldn't be together. Ryan was at Egleston for his transplant. Thank you so much for checking in on us and for your relentless prayers for Ryan. We just couldn't make this trip without ya'll. Love, Les, Missy, Heidi, Will, and SuperRyan

Thursday, November 17, 2005


40K, wow!!

If you've checked out Hayley's site in the past few days, you already know they raised $40,000 on Monday for CureSearch. I am so glad things went well for them, including the weather. We are so appreciative of their hard work to help find a cure. Things have slowed down considerably here this week, which is really nice. Poor Heidi is so sick. She stayed home Monday until 10 and we got up, showered, and got just about to school when I was able to talk her into staying home on Tuesday. Les and I are forcing her to stay home today. Please say a prayer that she will feel better very soon. Ryan took his first karate test last night and was awarded his yellow belt. He was so proud of himself. He broke a board, too, which really pumped him up. I wish you could have seen Will. He was certain that there must be a trick somewhere. Ryan is feeling better, but still battling a cough. He is doing great at school. We are looking forward to our first weekend without soccer. It will be nice to get some things done around here and maybe take in a movie. The kids all want to see Chicken Little. Thanks for checking in on us and please continue to pray for Ryan and all his little friends. Love, Les, Missy, Heidi, Will, and SuperRyan

Sunday, November 13, 2005



Everyone here on the homefront is doing well, except for the colds that are circulating. No big deal. The really big deal was Will's soccer team. After clinching the Division II Championship, they moved onto the Kohl's America Cup. Yesterday, we saw two very physical games. We won the first and tied the second. Will was very excited to go back this morning, and they easily won the first game securing a position in the final game. It was incredibly tense and exciting. The game ended in a 1-1 tie and Will's team finally took it in double overtime. I haven't seen so many boys this happy in a long time. They should be really proud of themselves. They have worked so hard all season and deserve this win. They have decided to end the season on this great high and will not be going to Savannah for the tournament there. It works out great for us because we will be able to see all our friends at the Lighthouse Christmas party that weekend. We took the kids to the Gwinnett Gladiators hockey game on Saturday night. They love chucking their puck and eating Dippin' Dots. We would go just about anywhere to get Ryan to eat ice cream. :) Thank you so much for checking in on us. Hope you have an awesome week with your families. Love, Les, Missy, Heidi, Will, and SuperRyan

Where's Waldo (Ryan)?

Wednesday, November 09, 2005


Happy Birthday, Henry

It has been a busy week, as usual, it seems. Les has been out of town, and we have really missed him. I am so glad he comes home tomorrow. Ryan didn't feel much like karate Monday evening, but he was back tonight. His teacher told him to practice 8 either kicks or punches. He was so cute counting them on his fingers as he did each one. Will started Odyssey of the Mind practice yesterday after school, and Heidi had a band performance last night, so we have been on the go. We have some really good news to share. Les' brother, Jim, and his wife, Melinda, have a new son. Henry was born early this morning in Seattle. He is a cutie!! Please continue to pray for little Jacob, and please pray for a sweet little girl that we met at Family Camp in October, MaryEvelyn. She has Neuroblastoma, like Ryan. They are very hopeful that her marrows are clear of cancer so they can move on to transplant. I know this is a very difficult time for them and they could certainly use some words of encouragement. You can visit her site at Click on Visit a site and type in MaryEvelynKing We finally got in our Coaching for the Cure donations. Together our 3
soccer teams raised $300. We are so appreciative of our coaches and all our generous parents. Will is very excited about their tournament in Stone Mountain this weekend. Heidi and Ryan are excited to not be going :0). They will spend the day Saturday with their friends, and they may go Sunday as it may not be such a long day. Thank you all for continuing to think of us and to pray for Ryan and his friends. They need you and we need you, and we feel so fortunate to have so many who care and who ask God everyday for Ryan's cure and good health. Love, Les, Missy, Heidi, Will, and SuperRyan

Sunday, November 06, 2005


Is it almost Monday?

Ryan has felt well enough to play today at his Nanny and Grand-daddy's with his cousin, Nick. He seems to feel worse in the morning and at night, like most of us do when we are sick. So far, he hasn't complained of his throat hurting nearly as bad as Will, but that may only be because, comparitively speaking, "this ain't nothin' " He wasn't able to go see Jena in the Ga. Teen pageant, so I took Heidi and three of her friends. We had a fun girl's day. She didn't come out on top, but she was certainly beautiful on the stage. Will's soccer team finished their regular season today and clenched the division championship. He has a tournament next weekend in Stone Mtn. and one in Dec. in Savannah. We are looking forward to a little slow down now that soccer has wrapped up for Heidi and Ryan. Thanks for checking in on Ryan, and please continue to pray for his cure here on Earth. Please also pray for a little boy in Florida who has had a long hard battle with this monster. His name is Jacob Duckworth. He has had yet another setback. Their family and faith are just amazing. You can visit his site at
They could really use some encouraging words. Hope you have a great week with your families. Love, Les, Missy, Heidi, Will, and SuperRyan

Saturday, November 05, 2005


$17,000 WOW!!!

It looks like Ryan has gotten Will's virus. The good news is that Will is finally just about over it. He had a terribly sore throat for over a week. Please pray that it won't be as bad for Ryan. He was out of school yesterday, but felt well enough to go to his school's Fall Festival last night. He had a great time and I wish I had pictures to show you. He and his buddy, Matt, had a blast in the booth where the dollar bills fly around and you have to grab as many as you can. They were so funny and got to trade their "money" in for candy. I don't know if our celebration of Ryan"s cancer survival skews our judgment a bit, but this Fall Festival seemed to be the best we had ever seen. Our PTA did an awesome job!! Heidi and Will have soccer games today and tomorrow. We are looking forward to the Miss GA Teen Pageant this afternoon. Ryan's friend, Jena, is competing and we will be part of her cheering section. You can visit her website and offer your congratulations/encouragement at She is a sweet and beautiful girl who has been so great to Ryan. We are very pleased to announce that the tennis tournament yesterday at Chateau Elan raised between 16 and $17,ooo for Cure. We met some amazing women yesterday. Lisa Cauley organized the event voluntarily simply because she no longer felt satisfied in making her annual contribution to the cause. She promises next year will be bigger and better. I can't imagine that. Les and I got through our presentation without too many tears. I will get Les to add a permanent link to Cure Children's Cancer, but you can visit their site today at One of the most amazing things about this group is that about 92 cents out of every dollar goes directly to either a group of doctors at Emory University whose sole responsibility is to find a cure for childhood cancer or to helping families affected by childhood cancer with either financial aid or through special programs. We have been lucky to benefit from a few of their special programs like the off-therapy celebration at Six Flags and the Open Arms dinners at Scottish Rite and Egleston. Well, I am off to get ready for soccer. It takes me a bit longer with my gimp foot. I feel a bit like a pirate with a peg-leg! Thank you so much for checking in on us. I will leave you with some good news from our cancer family. Those who have been watching us from the beginning will remember sweet Hayley who lost her battle with leukemia last December. Hayley was an only child, so I can only imagine how the quiet at their house is a constant reminder. They are expecting a new baby next year. We are so very happy for them. Please lift them up in prayer that things will go well. Love, Les, Missy, Heidi, Will, and SuperRyan

Tuesday, November 01, 2005


Good results from the clinic

We heard from Erika this afternoon, and Ryan's catecholomine numbers dropped 2/10 of a point, so that is great. Another indicator that his cancer has not returned- we'll take it. Will and I both made it back to school today. Ryan is feeling great. He has his last soccer practice tonight and his last game on Thursday. Les and I have been asked to speak at the “Play To Win” Charity Tennis Tournament Benefiting CURE Childhood Cancer this Friday at Chateau Elan. I am a little nervous, but we are so excited to be able to help raise money to find the cure. Wish us luck!! Hope you have a great week. Love, Les, Missy, Heidi, Will, and SuperRyan

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