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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.

Thursday, May 25, 2006


School's Out For Summer

Tomorrow is the last day of school. We had his end of year party today, and as you can see from the picture, Ryan's class is ready for summer. He had the best teacher in Mrs. Marz. She was so good to him and was just what he needed this year. Our kids are all ready for a break, for staying up late and sleeping in. Ryan's appetite has definitely improved. He is acting more like himself. Thanks to everyone that has called and emailed about all the viruses going around. I hate for anyone to be sick, but it is always comforting to know that people without cancer are sick, too. We are celebrating Will's 5th grade graduation tomorrow by going out for Japanese with my Mom and Dad. The kids love going there. Tomorrow is also our 16th wedding anniversary, so we may send the kids home with their Nanny and Granddaddy and take in a movie or something. Ryan's PET scan has been moved back to the 6th. Even though he doesn't require sedation, Emory wants to have the sedation team available should he need it. Sounds crazy to me, but the change actually helps. He is supposed to go back to see Dr. Marcus at Emory where he got radiation, but we couldn't schedule it for next Friday, and now we can do both on the same day. Funny how things work out. Please continue to pray for clear scans and for Ryan's continued good health. Love, Les, Missy, Heidi, Will, and SuperRyan

Wednesday, May 24, 2006


Still not up to par

Ryan had a great weekend. His soccer team came to our house for their end-of-season party. You can see them watching their coach hand out trophies. Ryan and all the kids love Coach Mark, and soccer will definitely never be the same without him. We will miss you, Coach Mark!! The boys went to see 'Over The Hedge' Sunday night with friends. I wasn't too sure Ryan was going to make it to school on Monday, but he went and stayed all day. He just wasn't feeling good. He complained of his stomach hurting. His nose is still thick and runny. He stayed home yesterday and I took him back to the pediatrician who thinks he just has a bad cold. He seems to feel alright in the afternoon and evening. It is very odd and very disturbing. Friday is the last day of school, and things have already started to slow down a bit, which is nice. His PET scan is a week from Friday and the CT is the week after that. Please start praying for another round of beautifully clear scans, and please pray for Ryan to feel better. Love, Les, Missy, Heidi, Will, and SuperRyan

Thursday, May 18, 2006


No Fever this morning!! :0)

I slept like a rock last night, and jumped out of bed this morning to go check on Ryan. He was cool!!! My day has been made already-no, the rest of my week!! He is going to school for at least a little while. I have been thanking God what seems like every minute. I think He and I have an open-ended conversation. I hope He sees it that way, too! It seems like I am praying to him hourly for somebody to feel better, whether it is Ryan, or Jacob, or Mary Evelyn, or Jay and Ethan's mom and dad. My neighbor was just diagnosed with breast cancer, and I have been praying a lot for her and her family lately. I also spend a lot of time thanking him for how well Ryan and so many of his little friends are doing. There are so many reasons to be thankful. There are so many things we take for granted. I hope each of you will take time out today to think of all the things you are thankful for and spend a little time in prayer. Have an awesome day!! Love, Les, Missy, Heidi, Will, and SuperRyan

Tuesday, May 16, 2006


Can't he get a break?

Ryan is still not feeling well. Dr. Morrison thinks he must have a virus. The strep test was negative and his counts are all good. I can't tell you how thankful I am that his nose is thick and runny and he has a sore throat. I am just ready for it to go away now. He was so disappointed to miss swim team practice and karate last night. Mr. Pattillo gave him a black karate outfit, and he is anxious to get into it. He has been looking forward to playing in a soccer tournament that starts tonight, but there is no way he could begin to feel better enough at this point. Please say a prayer for him that this virus will go away quickly and he can enjoy all the things in store for him. Love, Les, Missy, Heidi, Will, and SuperRyan

Sunday, May 14, 2006


Hoping Mom's day was good for you!!

We have been really busy on top of having internet problems, too. Relay for Life was a lot of fun for all of us, especially Ryan. He manned his lemonade stand for a little while, and then, thankfully, his Nanny and Grandaddy took over for him. He was just too busy. As you can see from the picture, he led the survivor lap with Carol Lackey. We saw so many of our friends who have prayed for and supported us a great deal over the past two years. It was a very special night. After he sold lemonade for his school team, he went and supported his good friend, Jena's, team. Heidi is on her team also. He was their Miss Jr. Relay contestant. Well, half of it, I should say. He and Candler, another friend of Jena's from high school, were a pair. They were dressed just alike, and were they ever funny (and pretty!). They raised over $1000 walking around the track in just an hour. So, now he is the Prince of Hope and Miss Jr. Relay-pretty multi-talented, don't you think? It was just after midnight when we got him home and in the bed. He woke up Saturday with a little fever which went down with some Tylenol. We thought he had just overdone it, but he didn't feel like getting off the couch till 6:30 that night. His fever went up again over night, and he finally complained of a sore throat at breakfast Sunday morning. It was a big relief for him to complain of something normal. He started feeling a little better and we took him to Build-A-Bear. He chose a Husky and named him Mason. His fever is back again this evening so we will go and see his pediatrician tomorrow. I am hoping it is just a little virus and will go away. Thanks for checking in on Ryan and keep your fingers crossed for his doctors visit in the morning. Lots of love, Les, Missy, Heidi, Will and SuperRyan

Thursday, May 11, 2006


Still the best in our hearts!!

What a fun day we had yesterday. It was wonderful to see Dawn and to meet her family. They are all so proud of her, and rightly so. She wasn't named to the top 3, but will always be #1 in our hearts. The keynote speaker was Ike Reighard of Homebanc. He was a great speaker and talked about the importance of "filling your bucket" by giving to others. The AJC had made videos of each of the 10 nurses honored, and Dawn's video was really good. She practically said in her video that her job "fills her bucket" and that's good for all of us - good for her, no doubt, and good for all the children that will receive her care! (and their parents). Ryan kept us laughing in our seats. He was trying hard to be good, but hey, he's a boy!! He gargled his coffee, that he just had to have and wrote "kick me" sticky notes and stuck them on Les' back. We will be busy today getting ready for Relay for Life tomorrow. Heidi will be spending the night with her team, and Ryan is really looking forward to selling lemonade again and walking the survivor lap. I am still not quite sure what he will do as the Youth Ambassador, so I know there will be more surprises in store for us. He has a big surprise for everyone that can stick around a while. You will be glad you did. He is off to school this morning. I didn't mention he had to go to the pediatrician last Friday for an ear infection. His ears are better, but his eye is red and swollen this morning. It's weird cause Matt's eye looked the same on the weekend. We put drops in it and will keep a close eye on it (no pun intended!). He is growing up like you can't imagine. He has been working on multiplying numbers and learning cursive writing!! He starts back at karate on Monday, which he is real excited about. Soccer isn't quite over yet for him, but Heidi and Will's seasons are done. Swim team starts Monday. Thanks for checking on us and thanks so much for your prayers for Ryan. We will post again with some pictures from Relay on the weekend. The picture today is of Ryan, Dawn, and some of the Aflac nurses. This is nurse's week, so if you can, make one feel special because they are our heroes, our angels. Love, Les, Missy, Heidi, Will, and SuperRyan

Sunday, May 07, 2006


From Today's AJC

When ajcjobs and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution decided to honor nurses who go above and beyond the call of duty to take care of their patients, we had no idea that the response would be so great. We received 237 nominations for the first ajcjobs Nursing Excellence Awards. Because the nursing profession is filled with skilled, compassionate and caring people, it was hard for the independent panel of judges to narrow the nominees down to 10 finalists. From these finalists, three top honorees will be announced at a luncheon on Wednesday. All the nurses and the people who nominated them had great stories to tell.Celebrating Nurses Finalist
Ryan Morgan spent many days at the Aflac Cancer Center at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta. As the 7-year-old from Winder awaited a tandem stem cell transplant to treat his cancer last year, Ryan and his parents got to know many of the nurses at the hospital, including Dawn Carver, RN, BSN
"Dawn was so compassionate to Ryan and to us," said Missy Morgan, Ryan's mom. "She always knew just what to say to make us feel hopeful that he would get better. When one medicine didn't provide him relief, she would find something else that would work. She knew how to encourage him and comfort us."
Carver, 33, works day in and day out with the young cancer patients at Children's.
She joined the hospital staff right after graduating from the Georgia State University School of Nursing and has worked there for 11 years.
"It's a blessing and an honor for me to help these kids and their families," Carver said. "I've never considered doing anything else but being a nurse."
Carver grew up in Duluth and attended the University of Georgia before getting her nursing degree from Georgia State. As a pediatric oncology nurse, she works closely with patients and families during their cancer treatments.
"The survival rate is quite high, especially with the improved treatment techniques and continuing research," she said.
Carver has volunteered for the last eight years as a camp counselor at Camp Sunshine, a summer program for youngsters with cancer.
"When I go there, I'm their camp counselor, not their nurse," Carver said. "I get to see these youngsters in a different light, and they get to see me outside the hospital."
Ryan has his own Internet blog to keep his friends and family up to date on his life. It includes photos and a journal.
"Dawn has sent him many messages on his Web site and sent us uplifting messages," Morgan said. "She greets every day with a smile and a positive, upbeat attitude. That's like a breath of fresh air for the fragile patients and parents on the Aflac cancer floor."
Dawn was our 7 year old son, Ryan's nurse while he was in Egleston for a tandem stem-cell transplant to treat his cancer. Dawn was so compassionate to Ryan and to us.
It seemed like she always knew just what to say to comfort us and make us feel hopeful that he would get better. She knew how to encourage him to get out the bed and walk his laps and do all of his exercises to get healthy and strong.
She came down to visit him while he was in ICU everyday to cheer him up. I remember it seemed like she always knew just when his medicines were done, and she would appear just before all the buzzers went off so he wouldn't wake up.
When one medicine didn't provide him relief, whether it was pain, itch, or nausea, she would find something else that would work.
We were so blessed to get to know Dawn, and will be eternally grateful for the care she gave all of us.
-- Pamela A. Keene -- Nominated By: Les and Missy Morgan
We will be cheering her on at the luncheon this Wednesday, we hope she wins!

Thursday, May 04, 2006


2 more good reports

Thanks to everyone who has contacted their congressmen. We actually got a letter in the mail today from Charlie Norwood promising his support. We got the results of Ryan's catecholomines today. They are in the normal range. Yea!! Ryan had his 6 month dental check-up today. No cavities-something else to be thankful for. I know many children have trouble with their teeth after chemo, so we feel fortunate not to have that to deal with on top of everything else. The kids have spent the last few days with their Nanny and Granddaddy, which they absolutely love to do! Les really needed my help (yea, right!) with a project in Key West. Beautiful water, hot sun. Just what my doctor ordered! Will has a soccer tournament at St. Mtn. this weekend. It will make for a pretty early start to our day. Next weekend is Relay for Life and Ryan has a special surprise planned for those that can hang around awhile. We will for sure post pictures afterwards. Have a fabulous weekend with your families and friends. Thanks so much for your prayers for Ryan. Love, Les, Missy, Heidi, Will, and SuperRyan

Tuesday, May 02, 2006


Here is the link you need to help all the children

Ryan's next set of scans are set up for June 2 and 8. He will have a PET at Emory on the 2nd and a CT at SR on the 8th. He will also see Dr. Anderson on the 8th. We asked about having the PET instead of the MIBG because of the radioactive isotopes mainly. They stay in his body for a week with the MIBG versus 1 1/2 hours for the PET. He won't have to take the awful SSKI either. We just hate to see him continually loaded up with radioactive stuff! I think that after scans in June and September, he will go to every 6 months. I finally have a link to where you can contact your congressman to ask them to vote for the Conquer Childhood Cancer Act of 2006. Please click on the link, plug in your zip code and it will automatically send a letter to your congressmen. You can email the link to your family and friends, too. :) Thank you for checking in on Ryan. He is doing so great right now. Busy, as ever. Please start praying for another set of fabulously clear scans. Love, Les, Missy, Heidi, Will, and SuperRyan

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