Sunday, November 18, 2007

Running For Ryan

As previously mentioned, I'm running the St. Louis Marathon with Team in Training to raise funds for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. This is an amazing organization dedicated to finding a cure for cancer. These days it seems like every single person I know has been affected by cancer in some way. Cancer doesn't discriminate when it comes to race, sex or age — anyone can get cancer. The American Cancer Society estimates that half the men and one-third of the women in the U.S. will develop cancer in their lifetimes. It is estimated that about 1.4 million new cases of cancer are expected in 2007, and about 560,000 people will die of the disease.

Losing a loved one to cancer is devastating. Keeping their memory alive is incredibly important. As life goes on, we must never forget the fallen heroes that have bravely battled this disease and honor the life they lived and how they touched our lives in so many ways.

Therefore, I would like to dedicate my marathon to the memory of Ryan Brown, the son of my high school friends Phillip and Andrea.

On March 17, 2004, Ryan was diagnosed with an inoperable brain stem tumor at the age of 3. Ryan went through 30 treatments of radiation by May, 2004. In November he began chemotherapy, but after 9 rounds the tumor quit responding. An MRI in February showed slight growth, so Ryan began taking an experimental oral chemotherapy drug. He responded well until June when Ryan took a turn for the worse. On July 10, 2005, a few weeks after his 5th birthday, Ryan lost his brave battle against cancer and became an angel in heaven.

Ryan was an incredible little boy. He loved his 4-wheeler, soccer, Chuck E. Cheese, his space blaster toy gun, swimming and most of all, his parents. Ryan’s dad Phillip is in the U.S. Army, stationed in Fort Campbell, Kentucky and currently serving a 15 month deployment away from his family. Mom, Andrea, is a military wife and dedicated stay at home mother of Elizabeth (age 3) and Lucas (age 1).

I am incredibly proud and honored to run in Ryan’s memory and on behalf of his wonderful family.

The slideshow below provided by Andrea Brown.

Ryan Douglas Brown
June 29, 2000 - July 10, 2005

2 comments:

  1. What an amazing little boy. So cool that you're running this in his honor. I'll be checking in to see how your training goes!! p.s. you've inspired me to clean off my treadmill. It's a start. :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. You are my kinda gal :-) Giving back is so important, and even a little goes a long way.

    If you are interested, some friends and I are putting something together here.

    Good luck with your continued training!

    ReplyDelete