In 2012, Ryan started experiencing difficulty breathing. Having recently moved to a new climate with higher elevation, it was flu season, winter was approaching and the weight loss brought him back to the same weight he was in college… Ryan didn’t think much of his symptoms. His doctor, however, was concerned and promptly ordered rushed blood work and a CT scan. By 12:30 that afternoon Ryan received a phone call while driving. The doctor told him to pull over and explained there was tumor in his chest measuring 8.1 cm. Ryan was told to clear his schedule because the next day he would be getting a biopsy with the possibility of surgery to remove the tumor.
The diagnosis came back as Large B-cell type Lymphoma. His wife stayed by his side throughout treatment and served as Ryan’s note taker, pamphlet gather, detective, interrogator and nurse. Ryan received 4 treatments of Chemo before starting to have an adverse reaction to the medication. His lungs were filling with fluid and was hospitalized for 3 days while adjustments were made to his treatment. Shortly after finishing chemo, he began 21 sessions of radiation treatment.
He finished his last treatment July 3rd, 2013.
Ryan’s became involved with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society when his former fire department asked to dedicate their 2013 Scott Fire Fighter Stair Climb in his honor with proceeds benefiting LLS. They gave Ryan a fireman’s helmet with all their signatures on it with a simple message, “We are with you.” Just 8 months after his final treatment, Ryan participated in the Stair Climb with his former fire department. That day in May, he climbed with his brothers and sisters of the fire service. They climbed for those not in remission yet, for who had lost loved ones, for those yet diagnosed. They climbed to advance research. They climbed for a cure.
Ryan says he supports the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society because, “We are all part of the human family. We come together in tears. We come together in hopes and dreams. We join our hands to lift each other. We raise our lanterns and say ‘We do not forget and We Fight On’. I am so blessed to have seen the “We” in action at throughout my life. I applaud each of you for your continued support of the Leukemia Lymphoma Society and the Light the Night Event. Thank you for being the We.”