- 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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Friday, June 29, 2007
Just one more day!!
I wanted to put up some pictures of Ryan. Two are from the Lighthouse- his Fear Factor show taken with Melinda and Troy and on the beach with his message in the bottle just before they took it out. The other is when we dropped him off at camp. We are so looking forward to picking him up in the morning. If you check out the camp pictures from Wed., you will see him hanging on Dr. Rapkin's back. Dr. Rapkin is one of his oncologists, and Ryan is just crazy about him. You can tell by the huge grin on his face. Today is 3 years from Ryan's first surgery. Looking back, it was definitely the worst day for me, and that is why I am headed out to make June 29 not seem so bad. Have a great weekend with your family. We are certainly going to!! Love, Les, Missy, Heidi, Will, and SuperRyan
Thursday, June 28, 2007
2 more days!!!
2 more long days till we go and pick up Ryan. It has been incredibly hard not to hear from him all week. He was happy when we dropped him off. He was in the same cabin with 2 of the same counselors and some of the same boys. He was already checking out where Erika and the girls' cabin was so he could start plotting tricks on them. We have been able to see pictures of him on the web. You can visit http://www.campsunshine2007.shutterfly.com/
to see pictures. the password is camp and you have to scroll down to "jr. camp". It looks like Mark Richt and the Ga. Bulldogs visited Tuesday. We could see Ryan playing football with them. We have been trying to do some fun things today. Heidi and I went to a rally at Egleston on Tuesday to raise awareness for the Conquer Childhood Cancer Act. You can visit the Curesearch website (see link to left) and they have made it easy for you to write your congressman. Click on write a letter under Reach the Day. You just plug in your zip code. It is so easy. I understand that we have assurance from Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson here in Ga. that they will vote for it, but we still need to contact our other congressmen and women to get their support. You can use this website no matter what state you live in, so please do it to get votes. The most exciting part of our visit to Egleston was that we got to meet Dr. Don Durden who is working on a new drug for NB that looks very promising. He was very nice and is going to do some research for us to help us figure out what we want to do next. Ryan starts round 4 of chemo on Monday and we will probably do at least 6 rounds which will likely get us to September. We are hoping to meet with Dr. Katzenstein next week. He was out of town this week. Heidi and Will are going to Lake Lanier for a day at the waterslides today. Ryan cannot go ride waterslides ( for fear of bacteria), so this is a good time for them to go and have fun. I have looked forward to Friday all week. My best-best girlfriend, Karen, has arranged for us to have a massage at Spa Sydell and then go to lunch. Who knows what else we may get into. Seems like we never go anywhere together that isn't kid-directed. We have had a good week, but we sure miss Ryan. Les' mom is planning a visit in a few weeks, so we are definitely looking forward to that. Thanks for checking in on Ryan, and please continue to pray for him and all the children in this fight. Please say a special prayer for Nathan
and his family. They needs prayers for strength, courage, and peace. Love, Les, Missy, Heidi, Will, and SuperRyan
Saturday, June 23, 2007
Did somebody say "beach"?
Thank you, Melinda and all the Lighthouse volunteers. We had an incredible week at Rosemary Beach. Our Lighthouse friends, the Peck family, were there and brought more of the Peck clan. We had a great time getting to know Lori, Hunter, and Roz. They took great care of us and we are so thankful. Lori hooked Ryan up with a world champion trick skiier at a nearby ski lake for a private lesson. He was so brave having never done it before. He was up on skis in no time and then took a ride on Cory's shoulders while he skiied. We also got to watch some young girls demonstrate trick and slalom skiing. Ryan absolutely loved it!! One of the highlights of the week was the talent show. Melinda helped Ryan put together a Fear Factor eating contest. He picked 10 contestants to eat some yummy, but disgusting looking treats. I don't know if he had more fun during the show or in planning it with her. This was an unusual retreat for us as there were four other families of children with NB. It was great to meet more families who have gone through what we have. It was also great to reconnect with families we have not seen in a year. Ryan is off to Camp Sunshine tomorrow for a week. It is going to be so difficult for us, not for him. He won't miss us a minute, except maybe Mackie! Thanks for checking in on us and please continue to pray for Ryan and for all our friends who are fighting. Love, Les, Missy, Heidi, Will, and SuperRyan
Sunday, June 17, 2007
Week long r & r starts today, Yeah !
We were released from Scottish Rite early yesterday morning. Ryan got platelets before we left, and we headed to the pool to watch Heidi and Will. They swam very well. Ryan's friend, Jena, came for a visit. They had a great time as you can see. Ryan was happy to jump in the pool at home and sleep in his own bed last night. We are off to visit his friend, Jorge, today. He has planned a Brazilian BBQ, swimming and a race car ride for Ryan and then we head to the Lighthouse tomorrow. We are so looking forward to a week at the beach with our friends. Thank you for your prayers for Ryan. Please continue to pray for him and for everyone battling cancer, and, of course, for a cure. Love, Les, Missy, Heidi, Will, and SuperRyan
Friday, June 15, 2007
Just couldn't squeak by
Ryan's fever hit 101.1 around 5 pm, and we headed down to the hospital. Of course, it has stayed anywhere from 96-99 since we got here, but I am not complaining. We got a visit from Dr. George pretty early and we are expecting to be here until in the morning. So long as nothing shows up in his 24 hr. culture this evening and we have no fevers, we can go home early tomorrow morning. I really don't expect his fever to go up. He is bouncing off the walls. When we left home he made sure to bring a can of whipped cream, popcorn, cereal, and his rubber chicken. He is going to wreak havoc on a dorm room someday!! Thanks for checking in on us. We have quite a weekend planned. Heidi and Will have a big swim meet on Saturday and we are going to Ryan's new friend, Jorge's, house on Sunday. Ryan is hoping for another race-car ride. Somewhere in there we are going to get ready for the Lighthouse. We are all so excited to be heading down to the beach to see our friends and to play in the sand together. Hope you all have a great weekend and a Happy Father's Day. Love, Les, Missy, Heidi, Will, and SuperRyan
Thursday, June 14, 2007
Fever, stay down!
We made it through Day 5 after chemo without fever, but we have been watching it closely this morning. It hit 100.8 this morning, but has come down to 99 and is holding there. Hopefully, it will stay down and we will be able to stay home. I am waiting to see if it goes back up, and if it hasn't by lunchtime we will make our way to the lab in Athens for a check of his counts. Getting blood on Tuesday took all day. We didn't get home until 6:30. Some friends came to the house Tuesday night to talk about raising money for the research at Aflac. Thanks to everyone who came and brain-stormed with us. Please keep praying that he won't have any fever and for the chemo to be doing the job we want. Love, Les, Missy, Heidi, Will, and SuperRyan
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
Do you know any of these people?
We had a nice weekend. Ryan finished his chemo on Friday with only occasional nausea on the ride down to the clinic. We gave him Zofran on Friday and that really kept it at bay. One of our friends from the Lighthouse got married on Saturday. We all had a great time and Sarah was a beautiful bride. We hung by the pool on Sunday. It was so nice to just hang out together. We finally made it to Athens for Ryan's labs yesterday. We hadn't been able to go before because he had gotten a fever. We got a call this morning and his hemoglobin is 7.1 so we are headed down for red blood in just a few minutes. He has been really tired so this will help him feel better. His teacher had her baby yesterday. Hooray!! We are hoping to get to go see her in a few days. Unfortunately, it looks like her palette is involved, but she looked absolutely precious in the pictures we got. We are hoping to head down to the Lighthouse on Monday. We are all crossing our fingers that Ryan's counts rebound without any fevers. Please continue to pray for Ryan and for a cure for all cancers. Love, Les, Missy, Heidi, Will, and SuperRyan
Wednesday, June 06, 2007
We're gettin' there!!
Ryan's scan this morning showed a significant decrease in disease. We have been very happy about that all day. We just heard from the bone biopsy/aspirate results. One side is clear, but not the other. Same results as last time. Dr. George indicated we would wait another couple of rounds before we repeat it. We are about finished with Day 3, and will be off to watch Heidi and Will swim in Gainesville. We will be celebrating our little victory tonight that Ryan's cancer is responding very well to the medicines. Please continue to pray that he won't get sick after this round, that his marrows will come clear, and, of course, for a cure for him and all the children with this disease. Love, Les, Missy, Heidi, Will, and SuperRyan
Tuesday, June 05, 2007
Just want him better
The cumulative effects of Ryan's chemo is beginning to be noticeable. He wasn't feeling very well at dinner last night and woke up with a sore throat this morning. Missy said he was sick a couple of times on the way to the hospital. Ryan's treatment has been moved out from a three week chemo schedule to a four week. This will give him more time to recover and regain his counts. We should hear today the results of his bone aspirates from last week. It will sure be a blessing if they are clear. Will is with him today so that hopefully will pick Ryan up. Les, Missy, Heidi, Will and SuperRyan
Saturday, June 02, 2007
Ferrari, Maserati & Aston Martin of Atlanta and CURE Childhood Cancer put on the Dream Ride for Kids Benefit today. What fun, what expensive cars!!! Ryan had the best luck in teaming up with race car driver Team Jorge (at the left) and riding with Brazilian
race car driver Fabio (above) in one of Jorge's cars, a beautiful porsche
. His car in front of the porsche
, and the one Ryan is sitting in, won best in show. It's one of only a couple in the states. He drove from downtown Atlanta to Roswell in record time with the help of police escorts. There must have been 30 exotic cars there for the kids to choose to ride in. What a great idea. Heidi and Will had their
first swim meet of the year and finished with impressive times. The car rally was the perfect distraction, keeping Ryan's mind off of not being on the team :( Thanks to our new friends, and thanks again for the car models ! Ryan really loves them. Les, Missy, Heidi, Will and SuperRyan.
Friday, June 01, 2007
S'not running anymore!
I can't believe I have failed to let ya'll know of some really great news about Ryan. His nose hasn't been running for about 2 months! Crazy, isn't it? It has made a difference in the everyday grind. One less headache to deal with. Yesterday went fairly well, just stressful. Heidi and Will went with us and we got down there right about 8:00. They all played together, and we watched "School of Rock" as Ryan went to sleep. His port access was pretty smooth. He enjoyed getting to spray Will with the "cold spray" that numbs his port site. He woke up with some pain in his hips that eased up with Tylenol. We met our friend, Kellie, at Cheeseburger In Paradise and got home around 2. He hasn't had any complaints about it this morning. We are hoping his teacher and her boys are coming to swim today. Tomorrow he has his ride in Atlanta while the kids are at their swim meet. We are expecting the results of the biopsy/aspirates on Monday. Please keep praying they are all clear. Having them clear will help us get a clearer picture of his treatment plan for sure. His stem cells would be harvested in a couple of weeks, and we would love to get that done. We will certainly let you know as soon as we know something. Thanks so much for your prayers for Ryan. Love, Les, Missy, Heidi, Will, and SuperRyan