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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.

Saturday, December 31, 2005


Happy New Year, eh!

Happy New Year everyone!! We are having so much fun at Gramma and Grampa's. We had a bumpy 5 hour flight, and Kim, Catherine, and Nick were waiting to pick us up. Thank you guys so much, and to all the family who came out to visit. Someday we will spend more time in Vancouver and just play. The kids had fun on the ferry just playing in the strong wind. and Les was happy to get his fries and gravy! We spent the night at the cabin on Denman Island so the kids could get oysters. Low tide wasn't till nearly midnight. One of the pics is of Ryan with the bucket they filled. It was a shame we couldn't have a fire on the beach, just too much rain. They cooked some inside and had a good snack, and brought the rest back to Gramma's. Will and Ryan built a nice fort on the beach, and the other picture is of the kids just in front of the cabin. We went to the pool last night and are going ice skating today for New Year's Eve. We will probably go skiing at Mt. Washington on Tuesday. They are still getting lots of snow. Honestly, I will be happy to put 2005 behind us and continue to move on in the direction of Ryan's cure. Our whole family is so grateful to all of Ryan's prayer warriors. Ya'll have kept us up on some of our lowest days. Please continue to pray for Ryan's strength, both mental and physical, as he moves onward. I know he has many questions still unanswered. Happy, happy, New Year!! Love, Les, Missy, Heidi, Will, and SuperRyan

Monday, December 26, 2005


North bound and down...

We had a wonderful Christmas Day yesterday. The kids woke up at 4, but we managed to get them to hang out with us in bed till 5. I think Santa was very good to them. We had a nice get together with my family last night. Ryan seems to be feeling better. No complaints about his ears, at least. We are heading out tomorrow, but we still have a lot to do to get ready. I wanted to put this picture of the kids up with their gingerbread house. Ryan keeps promising me he is going to eat it. :) We will try and update from Les' parent's house with maybe some pictures of the kids in the snow or roasting oysters, (yucch!) on the beach. If you don't hear from us know that we will be celebrating the new year and are looking forward to a healthier more normal year than we have had, and we wish the same for all our cancer buddies. Please keep Ryan and all his friends in your prayers. Many, many thanks to everyone who has purchased ornaments for Ryan's Christmas tree. So far, he has 148 ornaments which makes a great donation to the Children's Neuroblastoma Cancer Foundation. Love, Les, Missy, Heidi, Will, and SuperRyan

Friday, December 23, 2005


We Wish You A Merry Christmas!!

Sorry for the delay in updates. We have just been living the normal life, and loving it!! We have been busy with basketball and karate, and trying to get all ready for Christmas and our trip. We are going to visit Les' parents on Vancouver Island on Tuesday through the New Year. This will be our first trip back in about three years. Les and I went back for his Grandma's funeral just before Ryan first got sick. The kids are so excited. It will be a long flight to Vancouver, but it sure beats a layover somewhere. The kids are counting on some skiing and sledding, and I know Les will have so many friends to catch up with. Ryan has been feeling really good until last night. He cried during the night with his ear hurting. We took him to his pediatrician today and he has a bad ear infection. I hope it clears up before we have to fly out. We are taking the kids to Athens tonight to see Zathura. Please continue to keep Ryan and his friends in your prayers, and all the families who are spending the holidays in the hospital. We hope you have a peaceful and joyful Christmas. Love, Les, Missy, Heidi, Will, and SuperRyan

Wednesday, December 14, 2005


Happy, Healthy, and COLD!!

Brrr! It's cold! Ryan is really hoping for snow in the morning, but I hope it holds off till Friday, ( he'll definitely get to see it went we get to Canada during Christmas for some skiing). Tomorrow is their last day of school, and it should be a fun day. Les and my Dad cut down some mistletoe this afternoon so Ryan is going to take some to school for all his teachers. We got the results of his catecholomines a few days ago. One of his numbers jumped up to 10 which is right on the upper limits of the normal range. I knew we wouldn't be able to fully enjoy the scan results. It seems like there's always something. Dr. George said that since we just had good scans, they will just repeat the urine test next month. Who knows, we might just decide to drive down one day next week and leave a new sample. Ryan was awarded his orange belt tonight in karate class. He really loves his class, especially stopping by for donuts afterwards!! The boys are looking forward to spending the night at my Mom and Dad's tomorrow night. Heidi has a Christmas party in Athens, so Les and I are going to get in some shopping while we wait for her. Les is taking Will to the Thrashers game Sat. night, thanks to CureSearch. Now that Ryan has been feeling so well and secure, we have been making up individual time with Heidi and Will. It is awesome to be so close to normal!! Lots of Christmas wishes, Les, Missy, Heidi, Will and SuperRyan.

Sunday, December 11, 2005


3 reasons to be joyful this season!

We got the best possible Christmas present we could have gotten in the results of Ryan's scans. All we ever wish for is the hope that each of our children will grow up to be healthy, happy, and loved. That is what we deal with everyday now that Ryan's treatment is done. We just continue to pray that the cancer, any cancer, will never return. It has been a difficult year getting through Ryan's treatment, but we have so much to be thankful for. It has definitely been a challenge for Heidi and Will. It is very difficult for a sibling of a child with cancer. We have tried to keep their lives going uninterrupted. I know they have felt left out sometimes or like Ryan has gotten away with murder, which he has a few times. We can't help it. It is just something we will have to deal with. We had a great time at the Camp Sunshine Christmas party this afternoon. We got to see lots of our friends including Mary Evelyn and Chandler. Mary Evelyn is scheduled to start her first stem cell transplant on Friday. Please remember their family in your prayers. The kids only have four days of school left before the holiday. They are getting so excited. It will be a light week on homework, and they will be having their school parties. Ryan takes his next belt test in karate on Wednesday. He is a good little karate chopper. Thanks for checking in on us. We hope you have an awesome week. Love, Les, Missy, Heidi, Will, and SuperRyan

Friday, December 09, 2005


And the good news just keeps coming!!

Leslie called Dr. Anderson this afternoon. We just couldn't wait any longer. He said the spot on Ryan' s liver what smaller than the last scan, which, as we all know, is very unlike Neuroblastoma, or any kind of cancer, for that matter. That is about the best news I could have hoped for, being as we were pretty sure we had seen the spot ourselves on Wednesday. We are hoping to hear about his catecholomines before the clinic closes today. Driving down to Ryan's school this afternoon it occurred to me that this time last year he was in ICU with a life threatening colon infection and a white count of 0. Haven't we come a long way? We are incredibly thankful that God is hearing our prayers and answering them with Ryan's continued good health. Thank you all who have taken this journey with us and prayed for us. Please continue to pray for Ryan's cure and for his little friends. We are looking forward to the Camp Sunshine Christmas party on Sunday, and hoping to get in some serious Christmas shopping tomorrow. God bless you all and have a wonderful weekend with your friends and families. Love, Les, Missy, Heidi, Will, and SuperRyan

Wednesday, December 07, 2005


Good News!!

Hi Friends!! We got a call just a bit ago from our nurse, Erika. She said the CT was clear. No report on the MIBG as of yet. This is big for me. At lease if the CT remains clear, it could still be something other than cancer on the MIBG. This morning was rough watching the MIBG as it put together a composite picture of Ryan's entire body. It didn't look much different from the last to Les and I, but we certainly aren't experts at reading it, yet anyway. :) I just wanted to get out of there as soon as possible before some doc had a chance to walk in and drop a bomb of bad news. I am trying hard to be optimistic, but it is just so frightening when you're talking about cancer in your child. I just want it to go away and leave him alone. I want him to have a regular life full of regular kid stuff. We worked on his homework for a while, made a very cute reindeer, and his Dad took him to karate. That kind of stuff just fills me up. I will post the MIBG results tomorrow when I get them. Thank you all so much for your prayers for Ryan. Please continue to ask God for Ryan's cure here on Earth, here with all of us that love him so much. I keep meaning to tell you about Lunch for Life. It is a great program started by moms and dads of kids like Ryan. The idea is that everyone gives up lunch for a day and sends in the cost of your lunch, $5, to fund research for Neuroblastoma.
If you visit you can donate in Ryan's honor. You can even donate through Paypal. How easy!! All of the kids have little Christmas trees and they get ornaments on their trees when donations are made. We always try to support the different Cancer organizations, but this one is particularly important. All of the money raised goes only to Neuroblastoma research. I hope to post with more good news tomorrow. Love, Les, Missy, Heidi, Will, and SuperRyan

Tuesday, December 06, 2005


One Down, One To Go

What a long day it has been. Ryan and the puppies couldn't eat or drink this morning. We had to drop them off at the vet early to be spayed and neutered. Poor little Todd and Teddie. Ryan did great drinking his contrast. The Gatorade is definitely the trick. The IV was probably one of, if not the absolute worst, he has ever gotten. I expect his wrist will be bruised in the morning. We left a urine sample at the clinic for a check on his catecholomines, but it always takes a few days to get results. Ryan got to visit with Dr. Rapkin which he always loves, and we saw sweet Caroline, too. She was getting her MIBG injection right after us. She looked great. Tomorrow will be an early start with the scan scheduled for 7:30. I hope to get him back to school by 10:30. Please continue to pray that there is no cancer anywhere in Ryan. I forgot to mention that he weighed almost 41 pounds last week. We have been listening to 94.9 for his Make A Wish story, but we have only heard one or two. They don't play them very often. We will post just as soon as we get results. Thanks so much for taking the time to check on us and to pray for Ryan. Love, Les, Missy, Heidi, Will, and SuperRyan

Monday, December 05, 2005


Thank you Aflac and the Lighthouse

Thank you, thank you, thank you to all our friends at the Lighthouse for a great Christmas party yesterday. It was so great to spend time with everyone and to see all the kids again. Our day started early at Egleston as we joined 29 other Aflac families for our limo ride to the Festival of Trees. The kids had such a great time on the roller coaster, the giant slide, the balloons, and on and on. The picture is of one of our favorite trees. It was made entirely of Legos. If you click on the picture you can see all of Ryan's face and hand paintings. I wish you could have seen all the limos lined up in front of the new aquarium with police motorcycles all around. I'm sure the people headed into the aquarium had no idea what special kids were in those cars. Thank you, Becky, for thinking of us. It was such a special day for us to spend together. We really needed it. We are trying to get the house ready for the holidays. It just isn't a lot of fun with the scans hanging over our heads. I should probably just stop and wait until afterwards, but I have to take advantage of the time I have today to get it done. I was headed into work, but my car battery was dead this morning. Les had a flat tire this morning, too. I hope that is no sign of how our week is going to go. Please continue to pray for clear scans for Ryan this week. He starts the yucchy SSKI today to get ready for the MIBG injection tomorrow. His CT will be around 1:00, but he has to drink the contrast the two hours before. We have his Gatorade ready to go. The MIBG is scheduled for 7:30 Wed. morning, but I don't know how soon we will get results. Sometimes we hear that day, sometimes it isn't until the next day. We will certainly post as soon as we hear. We will miss Laura when Ryan has his MIBG. She has always been so good to him. Thank you for your prayers and your posts for Ryan. He loves reading them. I hope you have a great week. Love, Les, Missy, Heidi, Will, and SuperRyan

Thursday, December 01, 2005


Is it Friday, yet?

What a day it has been! What a week!! First, the good news--Ryan had a good checkup today with Dr. Anderson. His counts were ALL in the NORMAL range!! This is the first time since June of 2004, and even probably before that. There isn't really any bad news, except that 1) we forgot to pee in the cup, so we won't be getting any catecholomine numbers next week, 2) we had to cancel his hearing appt., and 3) Ryan got a flu shot in the front side of his thigh (ow!). It was such a crazy morning. We started out with a trip to Egleston to take donuts to our wonderful doctors, nurses, child-life specialists, social workers, nutritionists, etc. that are part of the most awesome Bone Marrow Transplant Team. It was just a small way to say thank you for the exceptional care we all received last year. Today is the first anniversary of Ryan's first stem-cell transplant. We lucked out and got to visit with Dr. Horan, Ellen, Erika, Becky, Sarah, and, Dawn. The picture is of Ryan and Dawn. He was so happy to see her. He talked 90 miles a minute. He showed them a few of his karate moves. It was so great for them to get to see Ryan as he really is and not so terribly sick. We took a magnet board and magnets for the kids to help keep count of their laps they must walk everyday. We hope it will make a yucchy job a little more fun. Ryan used to get paid BMT bucks for all his jobs, like walking laps and doing breathing exercises, even for taking baths. I took this picture of him this morning holding some of his BMT bucks. It was so hard to leave Egleston. Everytime we started to go, we would run into someone else that we just had to visit with. So... we were late for our audiological appt. They were over-scheduled, so we will have to reschedule for another day. The real bummer was that Les had left work and gone down to meet us for Ryan's appt. I heard from his school today that a sound-field amplification system will be installed in his classroom in early January. He is just not ready to talk about hearing aids. I have taken little opportunities to bring it up and he gets pretty upset about it. I know this system will help. We have been offered a great opportunity to go to the Festival of Trees---in a limo!! The kids are going to love this. The festival will only be open for the Aflac families Sunday morning. There will be 30 limos carrying Aflac families from Egleston to the World Congress Center with full police escort. Our Social Worker, Becky, said it was a really fun event. We feel so fortunate to be able to go. The Festival of Trees is a yearly tradition in Atlanta that benefits Children's Healthcare of Atlanta. I can't wait to see all the beautiful trees, and the kids are going to have so much fun. Ryan had his heart set on seeing Santa Claus today. We stopped by Perimeter Mall before his appt., but Santa was gone to lunch. He was pretty disappointed, so we stopped at Gwinnett Place on the way home so he could rattle off a long list of toys on his list :) We are trying to help him remember to share toys with children less fortunate. I forgot to mention in my post earlier this week that Ryan had lost a tooth at school on Monday. He was glad for it to finally come out. Also, I took the kids to see the new Harry Potter movie late Sunday afternoon. I probably didn't mention that because I was pretty upset that Ryan just wanted to lay down during the movie. That just wasn't like him, but I keep reminding myself that it was the end of a long holiday weekend and he had stayed up late several nights and played pretty hard. I had another day like that yesterday. His teacher emailed me and said he had been falling asleep all day at school. That really upset me and I went to get him. Les reminded me later that we had given him an Alavert that morning. Well, duh! No wonder the poor child was falling asleep. I felt a lot better after that. So it has been a week, and a very long day. I seem to be having trouble getting the pictures to publish tonight. If they don't make it up this time, I will try again tomorrow. Thank you so much for your prayers for Ryan. Please continue to pray that his scans next week will be undeniably clear. Much love, Les, Missy, Heidi, Will, and SuperRyan

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