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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, June 25, 2009


A warm good bye to Vermont.....

This is a frustrated little boy in a grown up world. It is very hard for him to socialize with kids his own age anymore. The majority of his friends are teens and older. This, or any other disease, steals the innocents that is supposed to live in all children long after only 10 years. It breaks my heart to see it, but this is the reality. This gesture is not aimed at any of the wonderful Doctors and nurses that went out of their way to make us as comfortable as possible while in Vermont. Dr. Sholler analysed Ryan's labs daily, making adjustments to his treatment on the fly. She sat with Ryan and really got to know his bad side and he showed her a little of his good. Everyone was so patient with Ryan. This has been the last 5 years of his life. Fighting, winning, losing, sacrificing, enduring. He is maxed...and this is where he is, and it makes me so sad. Ryan has been such a good boy through it all and I desperately hoped that a day would come, where we could sit down, take a deep breath and utter two simple words...we won.
He is getting sick several times a day. The thought of attempting to choke down many many pills makes him sick also. We are thankful for very little pain, as that was our goal with the Vermont study. This has been very successful.
I wish I could say the same for Missy. She is both very very sick and in a great deal of pain. It all just makes your head spin. It is simply unbelievable that this is all not fixable...We are praying for wisdom, compassion, guidance and great strength. Les, Missy, Heidi, Will and SuperRyan

Guest Book:

My heart breaks as I read your journal update. I am praying that things get better for both Missy & Ryan. I am also praying for you...the anchor and rock of your family. You are doing such an amazing job keeping your family going under such terrible circumstances. One challenge like your family is facing is enough to put one over the have two....

Stay strong...keep fighting...know that many are praying.

Your friend,
Nancy Vinson
Your Lighthouse pals
Dear Les, I know that blog posts are just one of many very hard things you find yourself doing these days. As hard and painful as it must be to try to put into words the unfathomable pain all of you are going through, I hope you also find it somewhat helpful to be able to reach out to and connect with the many people, near and far, who care for you so much.

We are holding you close,
Hannah & Mark
Les and Missy and family,

So hard to know what to say--and I call myself a writer!

Your pain and trials just sort of steal the words right out of my heart because there is nothing that can be said that will ease the suffering.

Ryan and Missy share a mother/son relationship that is a rare thing on this earth; and that mother/son relationship is wrapped up and kept safe in the support and love of their wonderful family.

I won't end this by saying, "Be strong." I WILL end it by saying, "Fall apart every once in a while if you need to. It's okay!"

With prayers,
Dear Les,Missy,Heidi,Will & Ryan,
We could never express our feelings any more eloquently than the three posts ahead of us that Nancy, Hanna, & Becky have already expressed.
We can only echo and add to the thoughts,prayers & love that are with you from a multitude of people from around the world, feeling your pain & frustration,as witnessed in Ryan's Blog & Missy's journal, that you have in your family's corner, and wanting to make prayers strong & loud enough to have this trial end in a good way for all of you.
Love,Strength,& Prayers to you from us,
Rose,Emil,Angie,Roberta & families
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