About This Site:
In January of 2004, at the age of 4½, Ryan's life changed forever when he was diagnosed with Stage IV Neuroblastoma, a rare pediatric cancer. Within days of hearing this devastating news, we consented to starting Ryan on an aggressive treatment protocol at Children's Hospital in Boston to combat this virulent cancer which had spread throughout his body.
His secure little world was now being invaded by seemingly endless streams of doctors and nurses all poking, prodding and asking lots of questions. He could no longer sleep in his own bed in his own room. He could no longer go to school or see Matthew that much.
To know Ryan is to love him. Our bright, energetic, charming and affectionate six year old truly manages to steal the heart of everyone he meets. He has charmed doctors and nurses alike in Boston, Philadelphia and New York (even a Yankee fan or two). This tough-as-nails Red Ranger has accepted all aspects of his treatment with barely a complaint.
We refer to him as "The Amazing Super Ryan". Our 46 pound "tank" continually amazes both us and his doctors. More than a year and a half of treatment including eleven rounds of chemo, major surgery, radiation, MIBG therapy and countless bone marrow biopsies, tests and scans of every kind....and this kid looks and feels great.
While we give some credit to his sturdy constitution, we also attribute this mostly to the countless people continually praying for Ryan. The side effects from treatment can be very hard to take. Thankfully, he has managed to avoid the nastier of these side effects to a large extent, though not completely. We cannot express how grateful we are to everyone for the prayers that have kept him going....and going and going!
While his very dedicated team of doctors in Boston were able to gain considerable ground in ridding his body of this monster, the knock-out punch had proven frustratingly elusive as stubborn residual disease remained in his bones.
With our options dwindling, our quest for a cure brought us to Memorial Sloan Kettering in New York. In April, 2005 he began monoclonal antibody therapy. Ryan would once again astound us as he bravely endured this painful treatment. As we began day 2 of treatment after a very traumatic first day, we were fumbling for words to try to reassure him that he'd be okay and would get through it. He just said, "It's okay, I can take it".
After 5 days of treatment, he played his first T-ball game. In May during our first 3-week break between NY trips, he FINALLY got to go to kindergarten for the first time. He loved every minute of it and immediately fit in and made new friends.
We're happy to report that after 4 rounds of antibody therapy, RYAN IS CANCER-FREE!
We wish that were the end of the story right there but the fact is that almost half of all Neuroblastoma patients in remission will relapse. So we, and many other parents, continue to hold our breath with each new scan and bone marrow biopsy.
Our family has been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support and generosity from family, friends and even strangers. Our hope is that Ryan's story will inspire more people to donate to much needed Neuroblastoma research in order to improve survival rates and establish effective treatments for relapse.
The above was written in 2005. In February 2007 Ryan suffered a brain relapse and in October 2007 another mass was found behind a rib. Ryan continues to fight the good fight and is undergoing treatment at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York.