July 31, 2008 - January 24 2012
- Hometown: Calgary, Alberta
- Year of Diagnosis: 2010
- Diagnosis: Brain Stem Tumour
Some facts about my treatment:
This is the story of our son Ryan; a very loving, caring, brave little man. Wise beyond his years and a very old soul.
Ryan loved to joke and giggle with his big brother Matthew, and the two of them could often be found snuggling on the sofa together, enjoying each other’s company. Ryan loved dinosaurs and was always eager to learn their names. His favourite sound to make was that of a dinosaur, and his favourite thing to do with myself and his Daddy was to snuggle up together underneath a blanket and watch one of his favourite cartoons, Mickey Mouse.
From the moment he was born it seemed that Ryan struggled with a variety of different health issues, and life quickly became a frenzy of Doctor’s appointments. He endured a ten day stay at Alberta Children’s Hospital just before his First birthday (returning home with a feeding tube), and in May of the following year he became partially paralyzed, and unable to see properly without turning his head to the side.
In July of 2010, Ryan was diagnosed with a large brain stem tumour, marking the beginning of our journey into the very frightening world of childhood cancer. For the next eighteen months the hospital was our second home while Ryan endured weekly chemotherapy, daily radiation treatments and consults with over seventeen different clinics within the Children’s Hospital. The pain Ryan endured was unimaginable and the procedures too numerous to mention. Despite all of this, Ryan was always ready to comfort everyone else and constantly showered us all with love and kisses.
In the Fall of 2011 we took Ryan to his first and last Family Camp weekend away at Camp Kindle. At that point Ryan was wheelchair bound (over three years Ryan learned to walk four times in total), but it didn’t stop him from joining in the activities with the other children. Ryan also began a preschool program a few hours a week where he loved making new friends and would calmly explain to his peers what his feeding tube was and how it worked. Ryan made such an impact on everyone he met. He was as mighty as a dinosaur!
A few days before Christmas we were told that Ryan’s brain tumour had grown back to more than it’s original size and there was nothing more that could be done. We spent our final Christmas together at home trying to make it that much more special. In early January of 2012, we went to Disney World for Ryan’s Wish. Ryan wanted to meet Mickey Mouse, so we packed up all of his medical equipment and medicine, and travelled to Florida. This was our last holiday together as a family of four and a few days after returning home, we checked in to the Children’s Hospice.
Ryan passed away on January 24th 2012 nestled between those most precious to him – Mummy, Daddy and Matthew.
Ryan . . . . . Our Son, Our Hero.