Our 2017 Honored Heros
Ryan is an 9 year old from Rocky River, Ohio. On his 7th birthday, he woke up with small bruises on his neck. To be safe his parents, Lindsey and David, brought him to urgent care where they were told it was probably staph infection. Unfortunately, Ryan's parents soon learned that it was not a staph infection but rather high risk acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). Since it was high risk, chemo started the day after Ryan was diagnosed and we are very excited to announce that Ryan had his final treatment in December 2016!!
Throughout the entire process, Ryan has proven to be resilient and reacted to the devastating diagnosis with courage. He has had several bumps in the road, but is back in school and enjoying every second he can. Even while in the hospital, Ryan constantly kept an upbeat attitude and often was a source of entertainment for the hospital staff.
Ryan finds a lot of joy in life. He loves playing baseball, gym class and cooking with his Mom. He has a refined palate and his favorite restaurant is the Melting Pot; but he also loves the simple foods in life like pepperoni pizza. His favorite trip was a cruise to Aruba and St. Thomas with his cousins. He hopes to meet J.R. Smith someday since he loves the Cleveland Cavs and J.R. can shoot 3-pointers!
This is Molly. She is a hilarious, spunky, kind-hearted 9 year old.
Two years ago, out of the blue, Molly's foot started to hurt. We took her to the hospital for x-rays becuase we thought she had broken a bone, like most parents of an active 7 year old would think. After a week of examinations and tests, we heard the words no family ever wants to hear: "Your daughter has cancer." The pain in Molly's bones was caused by Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. She immediately began an intense, high-does chemotheraphy treatment that will last two and a half years in total.
Throughout Molly's treatment, we've gone through many ups and downs as a family. At every stage, both Molly and her 10 year old sister, Kellie, have stayed positive, strong and resilient. Molly is now in her final phase of treatment. Her hair has grown back. She's back in school and loving it. She joined a swimming team and loves music, dancing, YouTube videos and playing with her friends.
Molly, Kellie and their parents James and Kate are grateful for all the kindness we have experienced firshand. We've had unwavering support from our family and friends. We found support through our community and schools. We have gotten to know people going through the same experiences and worries. We've also received support from complete strangers, small foundations helping with everyday needs and large organizations like The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society on a mission to cure cancer. We know we would not be in the same place we are today without every one of them.
"Our family have experienced kindness in a way we never could have imagined. Thank you for your support of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society." - Kate Keane
Participants in The Leukemia Cup Regatta sail in honor of a local patients whose bravery in fighting blood cancer provides inspiration and motivation. If you want to nominate an Honored Hero, please contact Caitlin MacBride at Caitlin.MacBride@lls.org.