Tuesday, December 29, 2009

198 Patients Get the Gift of Blood

Thanks to everyone who contributed to and participated in the #3 Ryan Salmons Day of Giving on Saturday, December 19th. The response and results were terrific. View Photos Here
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The American Red Cross collected 68 pints of blood (25 from first time donors), which will affect the lives of 198 patients in central Ohio. Proceeds from raffle tickets and merchandise sales will benefit both the Columbus Blue Jackets Foundation and Ryan Salmons Foundation respectively in their quest to battle and aid the families subjected to pediatric cancer.

On behalf of the American Red Cross, both charities and the many patients and families who will benefit from this event, THANK YOU!

Friday, December 11, 2009

One week until the “#3 Ryan Salmons Day of Giving” event

Just a reminder that the "#3 Ryan Salmons Day of Giving" takes place in one week on Saturday, December 19th from 8:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. in the gymnasium at Memorial Baptist Church (2435 Eakin Road - SW Columbus). The event features a blood drive in memory of our favorite Blue Jacket. If you wish to donate but have not yet signed up, do so NOW as available slots are filling up quickly. Because of the response, a double red cell machine will also be available for interested and qualified donors. Walk-in's are welcome but with priority given to appointments.

  1. Click Here to Sign Up Today!*
  2. Then, click the "Schedule Your Blood Donation" link (red button on left)
  3. Enter the Sponsor Code: ryansalmons

A Columbus Blue Jackets prize package will be raffled at the end of the event. The package includes dinner at the HD Time Warner Lounge and four tickets to see the Jackets on Saturday, January 19th and autographed merchandise. Tickets are $5 each or three (3) for $10. Anyone can purchase raffle tickets the day of the event and you do not need to be present to win.

Raffle proceeds and #3 Salmons CBJ t-shirt sales will benefit the Columbus Blue Jackets Foundation. Salmons hats and remembrance wristbands will be for sale with proceeds benefiting the Ryan Salmons Foundation.


If you have any questions or experience difficulty with the e-donor registration, contact chris_p_tucker@ham.honda.com.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Progress Report on the “#3 Ryan Salmons Day of Giving” event.

Recently we announced a blood drive (Saturday, December 19th from 8:30 am – 2:30 pm) in memory of our favorite Blue Jacket with a goal to have 75 registered donors by October 19th. We are pleased to have achieved 37% of our target (28 registered donors) with just over one week left in the initial challenge. The American Red Cross has pledged additional donor slots if this trend continues. If you would like to donate, but have not yet signed up, please do so NOW.

  1. Click Here to Sign Up Today!*
  2. Then, click the "Schedule Your Blood Donation" link (red button on left)
  3. Enter the Sponsor Code: ryansalmons

Good news for teenagers interested in donating. On October 6th, the minimum age for donor eligibility was lowered to age 16 (parent’s permission is required). Minimum requirements for teenagers age 16 – 18 also include new height and weight requirements. To learn more about this change and see if you may be eligible to donate, email the contact listed below.

Volunteers are beginning to distribute fliers to local businesses, churches and schools. A huge thanks to the Columbus Blue Jackets Foundation for passing out fliers at their “Hockey is in Your Blood” campaign recently.

To become a volunteer or ask how you can register to donate without going through the e-donor site, contact chris_p_tucker@ham.honda.com. Event fliers to send friends/family, post at work, school or a local business or on Facebook or My Space are also available upon request.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Announcing the “#3 Ryan Salmons Day of Giving” event.

On Saturday, December 19th, from 8:30 am – 2:30 pm, the # 3 “Refuse To Lose” blood drive in honor of Ryan will occur at Memorial Baptist Church, located at 2435 Eakin Road, Columbus. December is an extremely challenging time for the American Red Cross (ARC). Yet the need during the winter season is constant.

Presently, 75 donor slots have been reserved for this event. Based on demand, there is some flexibility to add more. However, because ARC resources are limited and must be allocated well in advance, interested donors need to register and sign up via the ARC e-donor link by October 19th. If slots are unaccounted for two months in advance of the drive, ARC resources could be reallocated to other drives occurring across Central Ohio. We anticipate slots may fill fast, so please reserve yours now, don’t delay. For your convenience, the e-donor link is located on this home page.

  1. Click Here to Sign Up Today!*
  2. Then, click the "Schedule Your Blood Donation" link (red button on left)
  3. Enter the Sponsor Code: ryansalmons
In addition to the blood drive, a Columbus Blue Jacket prize package will be raffled off at the event. The winner will receive four tickets (upper bowl – attack zone) to see the Jacket vs. Chicago on Saturday, January 16th @ 7 pm. Additionally, the winning party will be treated to a dinner buffet before the game in the Time Warner HD Lounge and receive four signed “Hats for Heroes” hats and pennants and a visit from Stinger during the game. Tickets cost $5 each or 3 for $10 and contributions are tax deductible.

Raffle tickets will only be sold at the event. But you do not have to donate blood to purchase tickets. So, if unable to donate, you can still stop by and show your support by purchasing tickets to win this wonderful prize. The winning ticket will be drawn after the event and you need not be present to win. Lastly, #3 Ryan Salmons T-shirts will be available for purchase at $20 each, while supplies last.

All proceeds from both the raffle and t-shirt sales will benefit the Columbus Blue Jackets Foundation. Fliers have been created to promote the event. If you would like a flier to post or forward to others that may be interested, or if you experience problems with the e-donor registration site, contact Chris Tucker at chris_p_tucker@ham.honda.com.



* If the Sign Up link does not work for you, simply copy and paste this url in the address bar: www.bloodsaveslives.org

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Ryan's Golf Outing Photo's, etc.

Everyone:

Thank you for participating in the Ryan Salmons Memorial Golf Outing. It was an absolutely beautiful day and a great tribute to Ryan. Through your generosity, we were able to raise almost $12,000.00 to start Ryan's foundation. We also raised almost $500.00 for The Columbus Blue Jackets Foundation through the sale of Ryan's #3 Tee Shirts.

We have finally got the golf pictures loaded and accessible on Barry's picture site. Thank you to Greg Bartram for donating his time and expertise in capturing the day in pictures. Ryan always looked forward to seeing Greg at the CBJ games and I appreciate his friendship. These pictures are open so please feel free to save to your computer. If you would like to order a professional photo, Greg and Barry will donate any proceeds to Ryan's foundation.

http://www.agreatpicture.com/gallery/9300809_xZFjc#P-1-15

We have been very busy since the golf outing was completed. We have secured a nonprofit status with The Secretary of State and received our EIN number. We are currently in process for our 501 C 3 status. We have established a website and it is currently under construction. I look forward to keeping you updated as we continue through this process.

http://www.ryansalmonsfoundation.org/

Finally, we have our first recipient benefiting from Ryan's foundation. His name is Matthew Barr and he is four years old. Matthew and his family will be attending "The Wiggles" on August 27th. He and his little brother Darren are very excited about going. Here is a brief bio on Matthew;

Matthew was diagnosed with a PNET brain tumor on Dec. 13, 2007. He had 5 rounds of chemo followed by a stem cell transplant. Relapsed in Jan. '09 - 6 weeks of radiation therapy. Latest MRI in July '09 showed no disease in spine, but still present in brain. Continuing with Accutane for now. You can follow Matthew's story at:

http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/matthewbarr

Thanks again to everyone that made the outing a great success. You don't realize how much it means to these families going through the battle. On behalf of all of them, THANK YOU.

Brad Salmons
Ryan's Dad

Monday, July 20, 2009

Ryan's story featured in Sunday's Columbus Dispatch

An article on Ryan was featured on the front page of the sports section in Sunday's Columbus Dispatch (7/19/09). For those of you out of town, I've attached a copy of it here for you.


http://www.columbusdispatch.com/live/content/sports/stories/2009/07/19/arace_7-19.ART_ART_07-19-09_C1_BAEH19M.html?sid=101


We're really looking forward to the Golf Outing this Friday. I'll attach some pictures of it next week. Thank you so much for all of your support.

~Aunt Amy

Monday, July 13, 2009

Reminder for the Inaugural Ryan Salmons Foundation Golf Outing

The Inaugural Ryan Salmons Foundation Golf Outing is almost here. Please join us in this great event next Friday, July 24th. Brad has worked with the Blue Jackets Foundation to establish a foundation in Ryan's memory. This golf outing is the first event for the foundation, which will raise money to help ensure families battling pediatric cancer can occasionally enjoy a night out at local sporting events such a Blue Jackets or Clippers game.

The Golf Outing will be Friday, July 24th, at Foxfire Golf Course. It will feature a noon shotgun start with registatration at 11 a.m. The $100 per person ticket includes golf, a cart, dinner, four on-course drink tickets. All proceeds will benefit families of the Nationwide Children's Hospital Cancer Floor (J5).

"Ryan and I constantly spoke about 'The doctors doing the doctor stuff, and I (Brad) would work on the spirit stuff," Brad Salmons said. "Ryan's legacy to the other kids will be the spirit stuff. We could not venture more than a couple hours from Children's hospital. We will not be a Foundation for Disney trips or wishes, but an evening away at home without worry of the financial burden. Clippers, Blue Jackets, OSU sports, etc. If a family enjoys the zoo, we will try to make it happen for the kids."

Event Details
Friday July 24th 12:00 shotgun start
Fox Fire Golf Course - Lockbourne, Ohio
$100 per person. Price includes: round of golf, dinner, driving range balls, 4 drink tickets each
Participation in the silent auction. For more information, please contact Cindy Ackley at cackley4670@wideopenwest.com. If someone dosen't want to play in the outing but wishes to donate to help the families, they can also contact Cindy.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Announcing...The Inaugural Ryan Salmons Foundation Golf Outing

A repost from The Columbus Dispatch Puck-rakers Blog (http://blog.dispatch.com/cbj/2009/06/salmons_golf_outing.shtml)

The inaugural Ryan Salmons Foundation Golf Outing will be held July 24 at Foxfire Golf Course.

Salmons, the former hockey player whose courage in the face of terminal illness helped inspire the Blue Jackets, died on May 1 after a year-long battle with cancer. He was 19.

His father, Brad, has worked with the Blue Jackets Foundation to establish a foundation in Ryan's memory.The golf outing is the first event for the foundation, which will raise money to help ensure families battling pediatric cancer can occasionally enjoy a night out at local sporting events such a Blue Jackets or Clippers game.

The outing on July 24th will feature a noon shotgun start with registatration at 11 a.m. The $100 per person ticket includes golf, a cart, dinner, four on-course drink tickets. All proceeds will benefit families of the Nationwide Children's Hospital Cancer Floor (J5).

"Ryan and I constantly spoke about 'The doctors doing the doctor stuff, and I (Brad) would work on the spirit stuff," Brad Salmons said. "Ryan's legacy to the other kids will be the spirit stuff. We could not venture more than a couple hours from Children's hospital. We will not be a Foundation for Disney trips or wishes, but an evening away at home without worry of the financial burden. Clippers, Blue Jackets, OSU sports, etc. If a family enjoys the zoo, we will try to make it happen for the kids."

Event Details

  • Friday July 24th 12:00 shotgun start
  • Fox Fire Golf Course - Lockbourne, Ohio
  • $100 per person. Price includes: round of golf, dinner, driving range balls, 4 drink tickets each
  • Participation in the silent auction
For more information, please contact Cindy Ackley at cackley4670@wideopenwest.com. If someone dosen't want to play in the outing but wishes to donate to help the families, they can also contact Cindy.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

A Week and a Day............

It is hard to believe that it has been over a week since Ryan has left us. During the first few days there was so much to do and organize, I really didn't have time to think. Even the days following the services were busy trying to tie up loose ends. It also has been hard to get back on the blog to update and thank so many people.

The support that so many of you have given our family is overwhelming. Though it doesn't stop the hurt, it does confirm that people really care and want to help in any way they can. Unfortunately, the one thing I need, nobody can give. Thank you to all that attended Ryan's services and the Columbus Blue Jackets for the family dinner afterwards. While it all still seems to be a blur, I feel that Ryan would be proud of the tribute to him. I know that he would be overwhelmed with the amount of people that came to pay tribute.

Today, I was finally able to visit his grave site. It is a beautiful resting place that has an angel statue that overlooks him. I can't help but think it is his guardian angel watching over him.

I will be not be posting anything over the next several days as I will be taking a hiatus. Maybe Uncle Barry will share a little during this time. But working with Wendy Bradshaw and The Columbus Blue Jackets Foundation, we will be creating a foundation in the near future that will continue Ryan's legacy with families from J5. I always talked to Ryan about the doctors doing the doctor stuff and I would help him with the spirit stuff. Ryan's legacy to his buddies and friends will be the spirit stuff. Once we have all the documentation in place, I will provide more information.

Thank you again to everyone for your thoughts and prayers. While Ryan is home and pain free, we are left to rebuild a new existence without our hero.
-Brad

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Reflections of a Special Evening

Words shared by Barry (Ryan’s Uncle). Friday at 3:22 p.m. marks one week since Ryan was received by our God in Heaven. Since then, the outpouring of love and support from family, friends, co-workers, the Blue Jackets, the staff at Children’s Hospital and even compete strangers-alike, has been the foundation that we re-build on. But, most of all, the love and support is a testament to Ryan…Of Ryan’s life, Ryan’s faith and Ryan’s hope for us all. I thought I would take a minute to reflect and share a special evening I shared with Ryan early last week.

I was blessed to spend about two and a half hours with Ryan the evening of April 28. This particular evening was very different than other two-hour blocks I spent with him. Why? Well, this time it was just different.

  • This time, I was alone with him. As you know, Ryan always has a lot of friends around...not this time.
  • This time, when I called to see if he wanted anything, he said, “Yes” to a Dairy Queen Cherry Mister Misty Freeze. And me to an M&M Blizzard. Conversation and bonding over ice cream…what could be better?
  • This time, his oxygen levels were way up, even though he had to remove his oxygen mask to eat the cool treat.
  • This time, when I got there, he was sitting up in a chair…not lying in bed.
  • This time, he was in a total state of consciousness. That day Ryan slept most of the day and was in a tremendous amount of pain. Much of the day he was mostly out of it.
  • This time, he wanted to talk...and we did!

You see, this time WAS different. Little did I know the impact these two hours would have on my life. Little did I know that in less than 65 hours he would be gone. This time we spent together was special…We laughed…We cried…We shared. I hope my words were meaningful and comforting to him. I know his words were comforting and inspirational to me. I will never forget this special time with Ryan. Why was I so lucky to receive this special gift?

Ryan’s legacy will continue to live…we will make sure of that! It will live in each of us that knew him well and by many who just know his story. Hold those memories close. Parents and Grandparents, hug your children a little longer and little tighter. Children, let them hug you!

God Bless, Barry (Ryan’s Uncle)

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Ryan's Obituary and Funeral Arrangements

Ryan Michael Salmons 19, of Grove City passed away Friday May 1, 2009 at Nationwide Children’s Hospital surrounded by his loving family and dear friends. Ryan was a member of Hilliard Southwest Hockey Club and signed a one day contract with the Columbus Blue Jackets. He was recognized as an honorary member of the team. Ryan was preceded in death by his grandmother Marilyn McLaren. Survivors include his parents Bradley W. (Susan M.) Salmons, mother Robin Bowman, sister Alaina Salmons paternal grandparents Carlos and Margaret Salmons and maternal grandfather Richard McLaren. Family and friends may visit Monday from 12:00 until 8:00 PM at Cypress Wesleyan Church 377 Alton Darby Creek Road where funeral celebrating his life will be held 1:00 PM Tuesday. Wayne Beard will officiate with interment following at Sunset Cemetery. The family request that in lieu of flowers contributions may be made to The Blue Jackets Foundation in Ryan’s name at www.bluejacketsfoundation.org. Please visit www.teamsalmons.com to learn more of Ryan’s life and accomplishments. An online guest book to share your messages with his family is at www.spencemillerfuneralhome.com. Arrangements are with THE SPENCE-MILLER FUNERAL HOME Grove City.

****Ryan had an idea that it would be neat to use Blue Jackets car flags instead of funeral markers on each car going out to the cemetery. We have some Blue Jackets flags to use in the procession, but our supply is limited. If you have one or can find one before the service, please bring it and display it on your car.

Thank you to all that have posted comments. The support we have felt is overwhelming. We really appreciate the prayers and encouragement every person has given over the past year.
-Brad

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Ryan Michael Salmons, May 1, 2009



RYAN LEFT HIS MARK!


Ryan Michael Salmons, age 19, passed away and earned his angel wings on Friday, May 1, 2009.

Over the past year, Ryan has fought with perseverance and grace. Many times when he could have been bitter and angry, Ryan carried himself with class and dignity. Ryan was the epitome of courage and strength.

People live various number of years. Some live to be a hundred, some in their 50's and 60's. I truly believe that only the good die young. My son Ryan was GREAT! Over the past year he has touch thousands of lives, many people he never met or knew. We would talk about making a difference and it is not the quantity of time but want you do with the time you have. Ryan could not understand why peoples lives changed because of him. He just continued to fight his battle. I tried to help him understand it is not the fight, but how you are fighting the fight. He just told me that he may never understand why people admire him.

Throughout the journey, Ryan continued to want to do for others. Ryan tried to help parents on J5 when their kids could not verbalize what the drugs did to them. He became friends with younger patients and treated them family. Even when the Blue Jackets signed him to a contract, he turned it into how he could help push the team to the playoffs. It was not about him. That was Ryan's spirit. That is who he was.


I am proud to be his father, friend, and have been blessed by having him in my life. Ryan, I love you with all my heart and look forward to seeing you again one day in heaven.

Once funeral arrangements have been completed, I will post the information on his blog.
-Brad



Thursday April 30th, 2009

It is 1:25am and I am just getting to a point that I can get an update posted. Ryan has been is severe pain in his abdomen and neck. Our hospice nurse had to make a return trip to help Ryan with his pain. Ryan is very uncomfortable at the moment and we are trying to find a position that will allow him to rest and not be in pain.

These posts are very hard because I want to keep you updated, and give enough detail for prayer requests, but not every little detail we face.

Thank you for all of your support.
-Brad

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

April 28th, 2009

Ryan has had a stable day which today is a good day. We had a small issue with his oxygen pumps, but we were able to resolve it with the help of the home health care company. Ryan continues to have pain in his stomach area and in his upper back. Please pray that Ryan is pain free and comfortable during this time.

Thank you for all your calls, emails and messages on the blog. The support you have all shown means so much to all of our family.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Update on Ryan

First, I want to apologize for taking so long between posts. But to say that the last several days have been a whirlwind is an understatement. It is no excuse, but Ryan's care has become a little more intense lately. I started to write an update Sunday and lost the post. I have not been able to post since then.

Ryan did attend the Blue Jackets last playoff game on Thursday. The CBJ honored him with an awesome gift. They asked that he or someone in our family "Carry the Flag" before the game. Needless to say, Ryan is the only gifted athlete in our family that could skate around the rink in front of 20,000 people carrying a 20 pound flag without falling. So Ryan asked Tony Elliott to "Carry the Flag" for him, wearing the famous # 3 jersey of course..... Though the Jackets lost the game, you could tell the heart of the team was battling for Ryan with each comeback they made.

Friday, against dad's better judgement, we made a day trip to Bowling Green, Kentucky. It was off to tour the Corvette Factory (view pictures). Ryan got a private tour, and a ride in a newly built ZR1! As a dad I am glad that he did because afterwards he decided that he didn't want one. In his words, "it was wicked fast, but too much of a luxury car." He would rather have the Z06. Saves me about 25 to 30 grand. (Like I can afford either one, HA HA!) After a couple hours, Ryan was exhausted and was ready to make the return trip home. Though it was a long day and rough on us, I am glad that we made the trip. Thanks to Mark and Mike for setting up all the details for us. Ryan really was happy that he got to make the trip. Matt, thank you for providing the luxury transportation, without your help this would not have been possible.

Sunday Ryan had another Corvette group from Springfield, Ohio visit us. A line of 13 vettes came by our house and spend time with Ryan. He was glad to meet the group and step outside to see the cars.

While he could, Ryan made the most of living life. He packed more into our "bonus" month that most people do in a summer. While many times I wanted him to rest, relax and stay home, I am now glad that we did as much as possible with him. Over the weekend, Ryan has slowly deteriorated. He most likely is now confined to our home. He is starting to feel pains in areas that he has not experienced pain before. He is also on oxygen to help him breath, and spends a lot of the day sleeping.

I will try to update daily, but it will depend on the help I have with Ryan. When we started out, Barry and Amy updated for me, and they may have to do this again. Continue to pray for a miracle for Ryan. If anyone deserves one it is him. If it is not to be, please pray that Ryan will be peaceful and pain free.
-Brad

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Ryan and the First Columbus Playoff game

Ryan with Detroit Red wings coach Mike Babcock.
Ryan with CBJ Foundation Director Wendy Bradshaw.

Ryan enjoying his "Bonus" from his NHL Contract.


Ryan attained another milestone. He attended the first playoff game in The Columbus Blue Jackets franchise history. It was another Red Wings victory, but it was still Columbus first home appearance in the playoffs, and Ryan was there.

Ryan had some issues with pain before the game and had to lay down and rest. We will be investigating the issue with the doctors today. Ryan did do an interview on Monday with nhl.com. Below is the link to the story:

http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=419355&navid=DLNHLHome

Thanks again for all of the prayers and support for Ryan. Please remember the other kids battling this dreaded disease.
-Brad


Please note: The Blue Jacket foundation is very happy to get Ryan's Jersey's created for anyone who wants one. It is a great way to support Ryan and a local charity that supports families like ours. However, due to the time of year, the playoffs, etc., white jersey's can be turned around in a matter of days. The Blue Jersey's are in very limited quantities and will take 3 to 5 weeks to fill. They are doing everything possible to support us and Ryan, but unfortunately, we can not make exceptions to this situation. Thanks to all for understanding.


Sunday, April 19, 2009

Ride for Ryan, Saturday, April 18, 2009

What a beautiful day we had! The weather was great, the turn out was unbelievable, the friendship was undeniable! It was a day that was meant to be. I will get into the ride later, after an update of Ryan's weekend.

Ryan started out with radiation on Friday morning. He seemed to tolerate it well and he was off to meet with a group of friends from the state up north. Yes that is for the remembrance of Coach Hayes that didn't want to give that state any credit. Now with The Blue Jackets playing the Red Wings, we have two teams up there to cheer against. Anyway, as much as we can joke about Michigan and the sports teams, the people are awesome. Ryan had a group of corvette owners drive down from Western Michigan to meet him for lunch. After a nice gathering at Quaker Steak, we drove them down to Nationwide Arena. They were Red Wing fans...... Anyway, they saw some southern hospitality, and got a tour of the arena by our friends from the Blue Jackets. (But they had to take off the Red Wing gear!)

Ryan has needed to increase his pain medicine to manage his pain, but continues to do well. He does tire easier, but still has the drive to live life to the best of his ability. This was evident on Saturday. He was determined to go south to McArthur to meet the group of bikes. While he really wanted to ride, health issues and concerns made him drive instead of ride. Ryan got to enjoy time with friends and family. We had many aunts, uncles, cousins and friends join us from southern Ohio. Thanks to all that came out to see Ryan. It really meant a lot that everyone attended. To all the riders, thank you for spending your day with Ryan. All the support has continued to lift Ryan's spirit. Thank you to everyone that donated grills, cooked, and help make this a great day. To Ken, Lynn and family, thank you for all your hard work to make this day memorable. Chris, thank you for capturing many of them in pictures.

Ryan attended services at Leave a Mark church today. He wanted to thank Pastor Steve for supporting him over the past year. He went in his "Armani"! He does make it look good. We had an issue with his port today, but after much concern, everything worked out OK.

Ryan will continue radiation tomorrow. Please pray that Ryan continues to have good days and that the radiation doesn't have any ill side effects.
-Brad


For those who wanted the Salmons # 3 tee shirts, you can order them directly from the Blue Jackets Foundation. The contact number is 614-246-4168. The person you can speak with is Kate Furman. Thanks to all who have inquired about supporting Ryan and The Columbus Blue Jackets Foundation.






Wednesday, April 15, 2009

April 16th, 2009

A year ago today, temporarily, the world stopped turning. At 1:57pm, on April 16th, 2008, I got a call that I will never forget. It is one of those moments in time you will never forget. I remember being in Physics 101 at OSU when I heard the news that the space shuttle exploded on take off. I remember walking out of Columbus Radiology getting in my car and hearing Magic Johnson's press conference about him 'acquiring' aids. I remember little details like the word acquiring? And I remember being at work ready to make a presentation rolling out our new branding campaign for Battelle's recruiting efforts. It was almost 2pm and I was standing with Pat at the front of the room when I got the call....... Dad, the doctor just called and told me to pack a bag and go to Children's Hospital. They saw a spot on my MRI and I have CANCER! The world stopped turning. I couldn't get out of the room fast enough. I couldn't get to his side fast enough. This has to be a mistake. He is a healthy 18 year old. He can't have cancer. That is for old people. Kids can't have cancer!

Fast forward to today. Oh what a difference a year makes. Life will never be the same. We have fought long and hard. Ryan has given it his all. We have all given everything we can. Yet, we stand here today with our only option being a miracle. 1 month ago today, doctors told us of the relapse and that our medical options have run out. Ryan was deteriorating fast and they didn't expect him to make it another week. Then we found Decadron. It has provided us another short term miracle and the ability to enjoy borrowed time. Ryan is living life as best he can. He is trying to live life to its fullest. One of the support people in Hospice told us when we first came home that hospice isn't about going home to die, but going home to live. And Ryan has a zest for life and a spirit to live.


Ryan continues to have good days and bad. Our most current issue is his bodies lack of ability to make platelets. He needs infusions almost daily. He has various issues that threaten his life. Yet, he continues to have a remarkable spirit and zest for life. He is so looking forward to the Blue Jackets game tonight in Detroit. Any coincidence that the first playoff game is on his anniversary? I guess we will see tonight. If they have Ryan's spirit with them, they can't lose to the Red Wings. He believes that we will win. I hope that the guys play with Ryan's fight, if they do, they can't lose!
-Brad

April 15th, 2009

We have focused our posts lately on what Ryan has wanted to do: cars, bikes, and Blue Jackets. Now it is time to update how Ryan is doing.

One year ago today, Ryan was home in severe pain and we could not find a cause. Ryan made several trips to his pediatric physician, a trip to the ER room, and a chiropractor trying to align his body. Nothing would help and the pain continued to get worse. They would continue to say he had a sciatic nerve issue and that only time could heal it. Ryan’s chiropractor, not the hospital or his general physician ordered the MRI to see what was going on internally. As a parent, looking back, I had trust in the physicians that cared for Ryan. A year later, I have learned that we as parents are the only advocates for our children. Hospitals and doctors live in worlds of averages. It was not likely that an 18 year old boy that was healthy would have a major issue. PARENTS, please question your physicians if what they say does not sit well with you. Looking back it is easy to say, but you know your child better than anyone and all you are asking is that they do a little more tests to make sure what they think is truly happening is…..We certainly were on the wrong side of the average. Today is the anniversary of that MRI. Patrick, thank you for ordering that MRI. If you had not done so, we may not have had this year with Ryan.

Ryan continues to feel well. He has taken time this week to relax and recoup from his weekend. Yesterday, we were at the James to map radiation that Ryan will undergo for some tumors in the skull. He is looking forward to slowing the tumor growth and possibly reducing them. Our hope is that he will gain more quality time with this round of radiation. Ryan continues to have platelets and blood transfusions every other day. He has had some reaction to them, so please pray that these go smoothly for him.
-Brad

Monday, April 13, 2009

Ride For Ryan

Attention Bike Owners!


Ken Vaido, a family friend, is putting together a benefit "Ride For Ryan" this weekend. Here are the details.

Event Date: April 18, 2009 (Rain date April 19)
Time: 12:00 p.m. (Noon)
Place: Meet at WAL-MART on Stringtown Road (North lot)
Additional Details: Contact Kenneth Vaido at 614-419-2404 or kenthetowman@aol.com


As a side note, I tried to talk my wife (Aunt Amy) into buying a vette for the cruise-in last weekend...didn't work for me. Guess what? This weekend I am going for a Harley! Any thoughts on the outcome of that conversation? Riders, should be a great time. Enjoy the day (without me!)


God Bless, Barry (Ryan's Uncle)

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Today's car show





Ryan had a great day. He was feeling well and enjoyed being out in the nice weather. The car rally turned out to be larger than he thought it would be and certainly more enjoyable too. He had many family and friends with him and many that became friends quickly. Many thanks to Mike Thatcher for getting all the details worked out and everyone for attending on very short notice. Ryan had 55+ cars show up for the cruise. View Corvette Cruise Photos


Ryan was also able to go to the Blue Jackets home finale. While the result was not what we as CBJ fans desire, it was a great evening. Thanks to Sean Martin for getting Ryan tickets.

-Brad




Saturday, April 11, 2009

Good Days and Bad Days

Ryan has been blessed with a couple of weeks of "rather" good days. Yesterday was not one of those. Ryan had labs drawn yesterday and needed platelets. His body is not making platelets as it should and we will be doing infusions at least 3 times a week. Ryan had a mild reaction to the infusion that caused him to feel weak and ill. It lasted for a couple hours, but left him feeling sick. Ryan took the opportunity to rest and recoup, watching the Blue Jackets game last night in his room.

Ryan has slept in this morning as he has a big day planned. Ryan has a corvette rally at 11:30 this morning with a police escorted drive from Grove City to Dublin. If you see a parade of corvettes on 270, honk and wave at Ryan. Later tonight, he plans on being at the season finale of the Blue Jackets regular season against the Minnesota Wild.

I hope to update the site again today with pictures from the car rally and the game. Thank you for all of the messages of support. Ryan enjoys reading and hearing from everyone. It lifts his spirits to know how much people care.

Thanks.
-Brad

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Tuesday April 7th, 2009 Update

Ryan continues to feel good. He continually amazes me with his strength and courage. I know that many people all over the world pray for Ryan on a daily basis, and we are still hoping for a miracle for him. But I believe it is a miracle and a gift we have had over the past two weeks.

Ryan has made a great recovery again and we have had a fantastic two weeks. Ryan still has several short term events he is looking forward to attending. They have a corvette cruise in planned for Saturday in Grove City. Saturday evening the Blue Jackets conclude the regular season, oh yeah, and then there is this little thing called the PLAYOFFS! Ryan is looking forward to Easter Sunday. His faith has become very important to him and wants to attend a couple services this week. Ryan still has several events he wants to attend.

Please pray for Ryan to continue to feel well enough to do the things he wants to do. His most recent doctors appointment revealed that he will need transfusions on a regular basis. His body is not making platelets, and his hemoglobin counts continues to trend down. While he looks and feels great, we need to watch him closely.

Also, please pray for Nick Raitt. He is a 20 year old from Salt Lake City, Utah. I came across Nick's blog while I was searching for information for Ryan last summer. I have followed Nick's progress, including remission, ever since. I have traded emails with Lori, Nick's mom. Nick has had a setback, and they are currently waiting for results from test done yesterday. Nick's site is http://nick-raitt.blogspot.com/ Please send Nick a message of encouragement as they need all the support they can get right now.

Don't forget all the other kids on J5 fighting battles of their own, Joe, Megan, Matthew, Evan, Ethan, Brayden, the list goes on. Each and every child needs a miracle.
-Brad

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Saturday April 4, 2009

Ryan would like to wish his Grandpa Mac a Happy 80th Birthday. Ryan was suppose to go have dinner with him, but wasn't feeling well after another event filled day. Ryan is having some issues with pain, but we are working with hospice to try and get the medicines corrected to bring his pain under control.

Also, thank you to all that attended the pancake breakfast in Hilliard today. It was great to see so many people come out to support Ryan. Ryan was able to attend and enjoyed talking with everyone.

Ryan had the opportunity to enjoy the nice afternoon with his friends and went for a ride in his car. Whenever he can, he will get out and enjoy the open road. Today was a beautiful day to do so.

We were able to catch the Blue Jackets get another point in a tough overtime loss to Nashville. CBJ Live did another piece on Ryan and we have received some very nice comments from the story. Ryan plans on attending the game tomorrow night and cheer the Jackets to a victory over the Chicago Blackhawks.
-Brad

Friday, April 3, 2009

Pancake Breakfast in Hilliard tomorrow

Tomorrow the Hilliard Kiwanis will be having a pancake breakfast to benefit Ryan. The details are listed below. If you are in the Hilliard area, please feel free to enjoy a weekend breakfast out.

As long as Ryan is feeling ok, he plans on making and appearance and eating some cakes.


Title: Hilliard Kiwanis Pancake Day Event
Date: 4/4/2009
Number of Days: 1
Start Time: 7:30 AM
End Time: 12:30 PM
Location: American Legion in Hilliard, Ohio
Description: Annual Pancake Day fundraiser - All proceeds to Ryan Salmons Donation Fund.

Again, I would like to thank everyone who has supported Ryan over the past year. The support Ryan has received is truly amazing.
-Brad

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Tonight's Big Win.....Ryan in the media.

Ryan continues to get media exposure across Columbus. Channel 10 spent the day with Ryan and will do a story on him tomorrow during the 5:30 news. It will air around 5:50. Jeff Hogan was the reporter doing the story. Ryan met Jeff at the beginning of his media tour when he and JoAnn Malhotra did an interview for the Blue Jackets Fashion Show. This piece will also air during Blue Jackets Live before the game on Saturday in Nashville. It is possible that WBNS will run this story on Wall to Wall Sports this weekend.

Jarrod Smalley did an interview with Ryan, Kris Russell and Jason Chimera in the locker room after tonight's game. I am not sure if it will air tonight or tomorrow.

Larry Larson would like Ryan to join him on 610 WTVN on Sunday morning. If everything goes as planned, Ryan will be on the radio around 11:15 to 11:20.

Ryan continues to draw strength from the relationship with the Blue Jackets and from witnessing the banter between the guys and Ryan, they are drawing strength from him.

Since I posted twice today....another note on the #3 Jersey's.

Wendy Bradshaw and Kate Furman have set up an order form off of the Foundation website. I have included the link below. Once you click this link, then look for the Salmons #3 Jersey link. You can call the foundation, fax, or email the completed form back to them. Please order your jersey's directly from the foundation. This will allow you to use debit or credit cards. That was one of the issues we had been trying to work out. They have assured me they will be done on a priority basis as many of you want Ryan to sign them.
http://www.bluejacketsfoundation.org/shop.aspx
All proceeds from the jersey sales will be donated to the Foundation to support Pediatric Cancer. As you all may know, I support the work that they do with all the families from J5.
-Brad

Team Photo 2009 CBJ with Ryan


The newest photo of the 2009 Blue Jackets. Please note the guy standing behind Steve Mason on the front left. Yes, that would be MY SON! Ryan had the opportunity to join the Jackets at their photo shoot yesterday. He was thrilled that they included him. Yesterday was a tough day, so I am glad that they brighten it up a little.

As for the jersey's, Wendy Bradshaw and Kate Furman have set up an order form off of the Foundation website. I have included the link below. Once you click this link, then look for the Salmons #3 Jersey link. Please order your jersey's directly from the foundation. This will allow you to use debit or credit cards. That was one of the issues we had been trying to work out. They have assured me they will be done on a priority basis as many of you want Ryan to sign them.

http://www.bluejacketsfoundation.org/shop.aspx

All proceeds from the jersey sales will be donated to the Foundation to support Pediatric Cancer. As you all may know, I support the work that they do with all the families from J5.

I want to thank everyone for your support of Ryan. I know as a father I have learned a lot from him.

-Brad

Friday, March 27, 2009

Ryan on ESPN!

Ryan got another opportunity to do something really cool. After the Columbus Dispatch wrote the article about the CBJ signing the most impactful player of the year, ESPN had to have him on their network. Ok, he may not have taken the ice, but you can't deny that the Jackets played the most inspired hockey of the year last night. And I will believe that the signing of Ryan had something to do with it.

So, the interview came together very fast and I didn't get a chance to post anything, so as usual, the CBJ comes through and puts a link to the story on the website. Please view the link below and enjoy seeing our favorite CBJ player! (Jason, we are talking about Ryan!)

http://bluejackets.nhl.tv/team/console.jsp?catid=705&id=37893

I will post something tomorrow about the Jersey's and what we can do for the foundation. But these will be a neat tribute to Ryan and a way to help the community in honor of him.
-Brad

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Official Press Release....


For those of you wondering, the official press release is listed below.


So many of you have asked and called about getting jerseys, we are in the process of creating a jersey for the first ever foundation signing. I hope to have more details on it today, but all proceeds will go to The Blue Jackets Foundation to fight pediatric cancer.

-Brad

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: MARCH 25, 2009

COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS SIGN VERSATILE DEFENSEMAN RYAN SALMONS
Hard-hitting blueliner from Central Ohio can also play forward and will wear No. 3 for the club


COLUMBUS, OHIO — The Columbus Blue Jackets have signed defenseman Ryan Salmons, a Central Ohio native and former Hilliard High School hockey star, club General Manager Scott Howson announced today. As is club policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.
"We’re very pleased to add a player of Ryan’s caliber to our hockey club as he brings tremendous versatility to our lineup and can play either wing position or defense," said Howson. "He also has great character and is the type of person who inspires others with his courage, tenacity and positive attitude. We’re lucky to have him on our team."
Salmons (pronounced SAL-muhns) began skating at the Chiller Ice Rinks when he was 10-years-old and began playing hockey at age 13 for the Hilliard Southwest club team. By 16, he was a star on the junior varsity squad. Initially a forward, as he grew and matured physically he moved to defense. His reckless and intimidating style of play resulted in numerous injuries – a separated shoulder and concussion to name a few – but also fed his passion and love of the game.
He has worn No. 3 throughout his hockey career in honor of his all-time favorite NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt. Blue Jackets defenseman Marc Methot currently wears No. 3, but has agreed to turn it over to Salmons. "I typically wouldn’t give up my number, but it is a small price to pay to add a player like Ryan to our team," said Methot. "The bottom line is he is going to help us win hockey games and that is all that matters."
Salmons is no stranger to the CBJ organization as he has attended numerous games at Nationwide Arena, including a game against Phoenix in which he met Coyotes Head Coach and Hall of Fame player Wayne Gretzky. He has also been active in Blue Jackets Foundation events such as the Black Tie. Blue Jackets. Fashion Show and the Flashes of Hope photo shoot.
"I know a lot of guys on the team already, including Manny Malhotra and Jason Chimera, and I’m really looking forward to playing with Jason as he is probably my favorite player," said Salmons. "He is known as one of the NHL’s fastest skaters, but I just hope he will be able to keep up with me when we’re on the ice together."
"I’m definitely excited about playing with Ryan," said Chimera. "He just needs to make sure he puts the puck on my stick when I call for it. As long he does that, I’ll score the goals and he can pick up a few assists along the way."
The Blue Jackets return to action Thursday when they host the Calgary Flames. Game time from Nationwide Arena is 7 p.m. ET. Live coverage on FOX Sports Ohio will begin with the Blue Jackets Live pre-game show starting at 6:30 p.m. The game also will be broadcast live on the Wheeling Island Hotel Casino Blue Jackets Radio Network and flagship stations WBNS-AM/Sports Radio 1460 The Fan and WWCD-FM/CD101 beginning at 6:30 p.m.
Tickets for 2008-09 regular season home games are on sale now at the Nationwide Arena Ticket Office, FOX Sports Ohio Blue Line at The Mall at Tuttle Crossing, The Chiller Ice Rinks and all Ticketmaster Ticket Centers. Fans can purchase tickets by phone at (800) 745-3000 or online at www.BlueJackets.com and www.ticketmaster.com. For information on group tickets, call (614) 246-PUCK or 800-NHL-COLS.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Newest Blue Jacket

Scott Howson, Ryan Salmons, Manny Malhotra and Jason Chimera


A formal announcement will be posted later, but The Columbus Blue Jackets signed Ryan Salmons today. Terms of the deal were not disclosed per The Blue Jackets policy. Several special considerations were negotiated into the contract, but the most important aspect of the contract was the negotiation with Mark Methot. Ryan has acquired the rights to wear the number 3.



Click here to view more photos of the press conference. A huge thank you goes out to Scott Howson, Wendy Bradshaw and the Blue Jackets Foundation for making this happen.

-Brad

Wednesday 3/25/2009, Midday

Ryan is resting at home. The medicines are providing the relief the doctors had hoped, and he is doing rather well. Though it has been tough on Susan and me to administer the meds etc., but bringing Ryan home was the right decision for his mental health. Our extended family appreciate all the kind words, comments and prayers. Ryan has enjoyed being at home and sleeping in his own bed.

I have several posts I need to get out as I want to share some of the talks that Ryan and I have been able to have over the past day or so at home. Please know that Ryan appreciated every ones response to his wish to see his friends, but we didn't know the toll so many people coming through would have on him. But, he is doing well and we are getting quality time with him.

We have one more trick up our sleeve, and I hope to post some information about it later today.
-Brad

Monday, March 23, 2009

Change of Plans - Ryan's Going Home

Hi everyone. It's Uncle Barry again. Just wanted to let everyone know there has been a change of plans. As I type this message, Ryan is headed home. Medical arrangements are being made to make sure he comfortable and has all of the medical care he needs during this time. It is very important for him to be at home. Please continue all of your prayers during this storm.
God Bless, Barry

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Leave a Smile - A pleasant surprise today!

Uncle Barry here. Just a quick update for now. Brad will update the blog later this evening on Ryan's condition.

As they were changing Ryan's port he was allowed to go outside for 30 minutes without being connected to anything. During this time, Brad was able to arrange a quick surprise for Ryan. Over the weekend Ryan has asked several times about being able to go outside and look at all of the bikes. I think we all expected 4 or 5 Harleys to show up but there were many, many more. Thank you to all the great folks at Leave A Mark Church. Today they left a great smile on Ryan's face and a bunch of teary eyes to all of Ryan's supporters. Here are a couple shots.




Friday, March 20, 2009

Friday Morning Update

I want to thank all of Ryan's friends who have responded to Ryan's request. The support that you have shown him is absolutely incredible. Ryan has enjoyed seeing many friends over the past two days. Ryan has stayed stable over the past day. He continues to have long term recall but the short term memory has been affected. His pain has been under control during this time.

Now comes the hard part of this post. Balancing Ryan's wishes verses his medical care. Many people have responded and it is taking a toll on Ryan both mentally and physically. Some of his friends will just be getting back to town this weekend. We want to balance the visitors, medical care and family needs at this time. I in no way am asking people to stay away at this time, but please understand if we have to limit visitors so some of his friends that have been away and not seen him get a chance to see him. Also, we have out of town family and friends coming in this weekend. Please understand this is a tough situation and a new area we are walking into.

Please feel free to call ahead to see if it is a good time, or please don't be upset if you may not be able to see him due to his medical needs.

Thanks to all for the prayers and support during this most difficult time.
-Brad

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

A Father's Ramblings on The Hardest Post and Day of My Life

Today's post, I don't even know where to begin. Today has been a blur, and an eternity all in the same day. You only get once chance to make your statement, but words can't describe the emotions today. I can't put my feelings in words today. I have intended to update the blog as early as 10 am this morning, but here it is at 11 pm and I am just now getting the chance to do so. Between phone calls, friends, doctors, decisions that need to be made quickly that have such a long term lasting impact, you understand why the blog is so late today.

The results of the MRI came back this morning around 8:30 am. It was the result that any parent dreads. "I am sorry but the cancer has relapsed and we believe that nothing further can be done to save your child." Even though you had prepared yourself for the news, you never quite really believe it when you hear it for real. Any treatment at this point will only postpone the outcome, not improve the quality of life, and cause prolonged suffering. How can you even consider continuing?

By noon, after much consultation and an unbelievable conversation with Ryan, we have decided that we will no longer be treating him. We will be managing his pain, and praying for a pain free and peaceful conclusion to a long hard year. Many options, trials, etc. were researched but in the end, the options just were not there. This is something I hope you or anyone you know will never have to go through.

Hopefully tomorrow I will feel more like writing to keep you updated. Though we are totally at peace with our decision, I just can't put into words the feelings of loss and hurt that I am experiencing.
-Brad

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Waiting is the Hardest Part.....

Late this evening, we were able to get the MRI completed. Unfortunately, we will have to wait until tomorrow for any results. So, another night of waiting and anticipation. We do not have much to share in regards to Ryan or his condition.

Tonight's post is going to be therapy for dad. People never seem to amaze me. Today started off completely on "the wrong side of the bed". First of all, I didn't sleep last night. So to say I got up on the wrong side of the bed is a little exaggerated. The day started with a sales rep calling my personal phone trying to solicit business. Are you kidding me? Do you have any idea where I am and what I am dealing with? Needless to say, my faith in people and there judgement was really being tested.

But then I looked at the blog and saw all the comments wishing our family well. All the phone calls and text on Ryan's phone, that he is unable to see or deal with right now, but the outpouring of support is and has been tremendous. Phone messages to my phone from all over the country. Then, the people that stopped by, friends from all over, Florida, North Carolina, Dayton, good friends that we see everyday, people do amaze me. I spoke to Wendy and Kate from the Blue Jackets Foundation, they offered any help we may need. People taking it upon themselves to drop off food at our house, golfing outings, skating parties, pancake breakfast, people do amaze me. People like Jason Chimera. He heard Ryan was not doing well and he dropped what he was doing to see him. He and several of his teammates have proven that what they do is absolutely from the heart and not "a job". THEY CARE! People do amaze me!

I guess tonight's post is about me saying thank you to so many of you that have reached out in one way or another to Ryan, Susan and our family over the past year. The smallest things do mean so much. The support given us doesn't go unnoticed.

Thank you for caring, hopefully tomorrow we will be able to give news that prayers have been answered.

-Brad

Today Marks 11 Months

Eleven months ago today, we found out that Ryan had cancer and was in for the fight of his life. The doctor's told us that the form of cancer Ryan had was a very aggressive type of cancer and the prognosis was not favorable. At that time, they gave us the option of a standard Rhabdomyosarcoma protocol, or a more aggressive treatment plan that compressed the time between treatments. After many discussions in a short time period, we knew that we had to go with the most aggressive treatment that we could. Ryan took this fight head on and did not back down. He battled with everything he could and sometimes with strength he shouldn't even be able to find. Ryan has continually amazed us all.

During the fight Ryan has had many short term goals he was looking forward to being a part of. His golf outing, the Buckeyes team dinner, attending an OSU football game, being the Zebra's Care recipient, Blue Jackets games with Doug and Lori, The CBJ Fashion show and even giving Woody Johnson a buzz cut.. The point is life has become a version of short term goals. But each and every one of them has given Ryan the drive to continue to fight a battle to win. They may seem small to some, but they have become very important interim goals to keep Ryan moving forward.

The past six weeks have started taking its toll on all of us. Ryan had an issue called VOD that came very close to ending his battle. But in true Ryan form, he stood firm and overcame the battle. They needed Ryan's counts to come back before they could administer more chemo. Once the liver issues cleared, Ryan's body has not made the platelets necessary to continue his chemo. It has been six weeks since our last chemo. During this time, Ryan has had additional issues with bladder infections, fevers and other issues that have kept in in the hospital.

With the most recent stay in the hospital, we have learned that the cancer has returned after just six weeks removed from chemo. We will be doing scans over the next few days to determine to what extent it is back, and what our treatment options are. Once we know more, we will update you. But for now, please keep Ryan in your prayers during this time.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Back Home, now back at Children's 3/14/09

Ryan got to come home from the hospital late Thursday evening. After they determined that he had a bladder infection, they treated it with antibiotics. His fever had stayed down for over 24 hours and back home we went. While Ryan was home, he never really seemed to be himself.

This morning, Saturday, we woke up around 9am and Ryan had another fever in excess of 101. So by 11am we were in the ER and by 5pm we were back on J5. Ryan has not felt well since we went home Thursday, and I don't believe he ever kicked the first infection. We will most likely be at Children's through the weekend. His counts have remained constant, WBC and HBC are fine and his Platelets are still very low.

Right now Ryan is resting and we await the results of the cultures taken earlier today.
-Brad

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Tuesday Night, Back at Children’s

After the last post, we were looking forward to going to see The Columbus Blue Jackets play the Boston Bruins. When I got home from work, Ryan asked if I would mind staying home and watching the game on TV. Stay home? Is this my son? What have you done to my son that willed himself to leave Children’s Hospital in the middle of Chemo to attend a hockey game earlier in the year? Needless to say, I knew he was not feeling well.

As late evening came and another Blue Jackets victory, YEAH!!!, the home phone rings. (This is how he summons me upstairs when I am on the first floor.) It was Ryan and we were off to see our friends at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. Ryan spiked a high fever and had some other issues. By 3:30am we were back in the room where this all started in April. Ryan will be in the hospital for a day or so while they try to find the source of this infection. One note though is that his platelets are going the wrong way. The WBC and HBC are down but in an acceptable range. His platelets are down to 39. In a week they have dropped almost in half. Please keep Ryan in your prayers as postponing this treatment much longer becomes really concerning to his over all well being, both mentally and physically.

Please keep the other kids on J5 in your prayers as well. Joe Friend is in doing another round of chemo this week. Hopefully Ryan and Joe will be able to keep each other busy while they are in the hospital.
-Brad

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

False Start..........

Ryan has been able to keep his chemo weeks scheduled as planned. But this week, we had our first postponement due to low counts. Even though Ryan has not had chemo for a month, his platelet levels are not cooperating. His current platelets are 50 and need to be at least 75 before he can continue his treatment. A normal count is between 140-440.

Please keep Ryan in your prayers as I have followed others that wait months for the counts to return. We need to get Ryan back on his plan so we can do everything possible. Ryan will enjoy a few hockey games this week and an off week just like Dale Jr. (Though Ryan can't travel to a beach somewhere warm to enjoy it.)

Thanks to all of you who are following Ryan's progress and keeping him in your thoughts and prayers.
-Brad

Sunday, March 8, 2009

A Quiet Weekend, Chemo This Week

Ryan has enjoyed a quiet weekend at home. After the past month, this has become a welcome change. Ryan did get a chance to go watch his former hockey team play a couple times this weekend in The Blue Jackets Cup Tournament. Hilliard beat teams from Cleveland and Mason. He really enjoyed getting to watch them play and see friends that he had not seen in a while. Other than those short trips, Ryan has spent the weekend resting and getting ready for a tough chemo week.

Ryan has been on chemo since mid April 2008. Each and every round has been given in the hospital. This week, we get to try to administer the chemo as an out-patient. Ryan will do the five day chemo in the day hospital and spend the rest of the time in his own bed. Pray that this goes well as the final three 5 day chemo's will be done this way.

Please remember a couple of Ryan's friends in your prayers as well. Joe Friend had his second surgery and seems to be doing well. He will be starting a long chemo treatment and needs your prayers. Also, please remember a friend to many of the J5 families. Jason Chimera underwent surgery to repair a torn muscle. This has kept him out of the Blue Jackets line up for several weeks. He has a heart of gold and has went above and beyond for many family's at Children's. Please say a special pray that his recovery is fast and complete.
-Brad

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Ryan on "Woody and the Wake up Call"




Ryan had the opportunity to visit Woody, Stacie and Dan E. Zuko this morning. It was to help Woody pay of a bet from last week's St. Jude Auction. I will get more info from Ryan to post later, but here are a couple of pictures with Woody.


Thanks to all three for making it such a good time for Ryan.
-Brad




Friday, February 27, 2009

Friday Evening and Thankful for a Weekend!

First, I would like to apologize for the delay in this update. It has been a long week and I have not been able to get to a computer outside of work to update. Now, where do I begin?

Dad is home and recovering from the ulcer issue. He seems to be ok, but who knows for sure. He wouldn't tell us if he was still hurting, but his color seems better and he seems to have more energy as well. Both Susan and I ended up with upper respiratory infections, and had to stay away from Ryan and J5 while he was in the hospital. This was very hard on Ryan, Susan, and myself. We have been together day in and day out, so it was tough not to be there for him. Mom spent the two nights with him and we really appreciate it because it is not like you are sleeping on a sleep comfort bed at the Hilton. Anyway, on to Ryan......

Ryan was taken into the hospital Tuesday night with a temperature of 104+. He was achy all over and they were sure he had the flu. After several tests and multiple cultures, everything came back negative. He continued to have spikes in his temperature through midday yesterday, he seems to have recovered well, and they let him go home late this afternoon. His counts are still hovering in the questionable range on WBC, 2.2 and Platelets @ 38. His HBC is good at 11.5. The VOD issue has cleared up. His Bili score has come down to 2 which is good and the other function are normal. He plans on spending a quiet weekend at home, and I don't plan on being around him without gloves and a mask. He is very very happy to be home in his own bed.

Thanks to all who have call and emailed, we really appreciate you following Ryan's progress and praying for him.
-Brad

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Can we be Home and at the Hospital at the same time? Version 2!

Just a quick note to update everyone, Ryan is now back in the hospital with a high fever, Dad has been released and I'm just about crazy!

I will post a more updated blog after work when I am at the hospital with Ryan!
-Brad

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Ryan, Dad and the road to Recovery....

Who should I talk about first? Ryan? Dad? Updates, Updates, Updates.......

Ryan has enjoyed a quiet day at home just continuing his slow recovery progress from the VOD. Not much to report which after the past two weeks is a welcome statement. Ryan will go back to Children's on Thursday for more labs. Hopefully with rest we will get Ryan healthy. And yes, I am still being a strict dad and trying to isolate Ryan so he doesn't end up back at Children's sick. But this time, he is not fighting me.

Now, Dad. Dad was admitted to Mount Carmel West due to a loss of blood and not knowing where it was going. Add on top of that the prior two weeks of Ryan losing blood and the VOD issue and I am sure you can understand our concern for the worst. They did give Dad several bags of blood and a few tests. Luckily, we found that he had a bleeding Ulcer in his stomach area. The doctor says he will be fine with rest, medicine and time. He will be staying another night in the hospital just as a precautionary measure.

Thank you for all your concern, calls and prayers. Please remember the other families on J5. Ryan buddy Joe Friend had surgery on Friday and is doing well. Please keep him and Holly in your prayers as he is facing a long 36 week chemo schedule. Ryan has developed a bond with Joe and he has such a great attitude and outlook. He is a special kid.
-Brad

Monday, February 23, 2009

Can we be Home and at the Hospital at the same time?

Ryan is still at home, though as I write this we are fighting a low grade fever. (99.4) Please pray that this stays below 100.4 so we don't end up back at Children's before Thursday's labs. He is not feeling the best so I hope that he is not coming down with another cold, etc.

Today Ryan was in the day hospital having labs drawn and test run. The good news is that his blood counts continue to increase. His WBC was 2.2, HBC was a whopping 13.1, and platelets were up to 58. The bili score for his liver had went back up slightly to 4.0. We need this to go down to .1-1.0, so this explains why his color and eyes are still yellow. Overall, Dr. Yeager seemed happy with Ryan's progress considering how sick Ryan was a week ago.

Now for the question in the title. As many of you know, Susan and I take care of Ryan at home evenings and weekends. My parents, Ryan's grandparents, have been his primary caretakers during the day. Without their support and care, I truly do not know how we would have done this. I also know I am going to get grief from my dad for posting this. But I really don't care what he thinks at this point! Please keep my dad in your prayers as he was admitted to Mount Carmel West today. He is having some health issues of his own and they are running a series of tests to determine what is causing these issues. Once we know more, I will post them. We have been so concerned for Ryan that we may overlook what each of us have done, but I want Mom and Dad to know how much Susan and I appreciate their help.
-Brad

Saturday, February 21, 2009

BACK AT HOME!!

After almost two weeks in the hospital, Ryan convinced the doctors that his progress and improvement would be better at home. Even though he is sick, many of you know, he is very persuasive. Doctor Yeager agreed and Ryan has slept ever since we got home.

Ryan's WBC count is still low. When we left the hospital yesterday, it was 1.4. His HBC count is excellent at 11.1, and the platelets are still low at 33. We are happy to have him back home and hopefully it will allow him to rest and recuperate faster. The VOD will keep Ryan from doing any chemotherapy for at least another two weeks. Once they feel that it has healed enough we will continue treatment.

Ryan is still weak, and nothing says that more than having Blue Jackets tickets for tonight's game and Ryan telling me he doesn't think that he is strong enough to go to the game. Again, another time where Ryan is showing his growth in decision making. With and the flu and colds out there, I am happy to keep him isolated from the masses.

Thank you to all that have called, visited and just followed Ryan through the blog. The thoughts, prayers and concerns have not gone unnoticed. We want everyone to know what it means to us and Ryan to read people's comments and words of encouragement. Thanks.
-Brad

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Update 2/18/09

Ryan's counts have stayed the same with the exception of the WBC and the Platelets. His white blood count went down from 2.0 to 1.5 yesterday and his platelets dropped to 34. these need to be in the range of 6 and 200+ respectively. Ryan had an MRI yesterday and the results are pending.

Please keep praying that his WBC and Platelets increase as these numbers are the ones that will heal the liver function. Otherwise, Ryan seems to be doing ok, he is not in as much pain, but certainly getting restless being in the hospital.
-Brad

Monday, February 16, 2009

Update on Ryan 2/16/09

"You don't know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have."

Ryan continues to be strong! He is battling this condition and he is a winner!

Ryan's counts have stayed stable over the last 24+ hours. His WBC is still around 2.0. HBC is just above 10, and his platelets are 36. The liver function score called the Bili score has stayed at 7.6. The bloating around his stomach has decreased and his color continues to improve. Ryan had an ultrasound today and it showed the liver was starting to improve.

This is not something that will improve quickly, but will take some time to improve. As long as the numbers continue to trend the way they are, Ryan is expected to recover. One issue that the doctors told us is he will have to monitor the type of foods he eats for the next month. I don't know if Ryan will be able to survive without buffalo chicken from Wings and Rings, Rooster's or Canes.

We enjoyed watching the Blue Jackets together tonight, even though we only got 1 point. 5 points in the last three games is not bad, but we sure wish they had won. We don't know how much longer we will be in the hospital, but we are trying to take it one day at a time. Thanks again for every ones thoughts and prayers.
-Brad

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Update on Ryan 02/14/09

Ryan is still fighting the condition known as VOD. Our current understanding is that it is a very slow process and that it is really dependant on his CBC counts increasing. So as of 9pm this evening, his HBC was 9.8, WBC was 2.0 and his platelets were 24. These are still low and we need them to continue to trend upwards. The bloating of the stomach area has stayed constant which is good. His color is not nearly as yellow and he seems to be alert. Though he is not out of the woods, he is making positive progress. We are still monitoring his liver function scores and will do so for the near future.
Thank you to all that have sent Ryan well wishes and prayers. He continues to need the support.

Have a Happy Valentine's Day!
-Brad

Friday, February 13, 2009

Ryan is still at Children's

Sorry for the delay in updating the blog, but this has been an unusual admittance for a fever. As we said in the last post, Ryan was admitted to Children's late Monday night. His fevers usually last around 48 hours and the timing of this latest issue fell during our planned trip to The Buckeye Cruise for Cancer. This is the second annual trip for The Stephanie Speilman Cancer Cruise and for any Buckeye, it is a trip to remember. We spoke to Dr. Yeager on Tuesday and left with his assurance that it looked to be a normal fever that they could treat and release Ryan and that it should not be an issue for us to go. 23 hours later after a brief stop in Orlando, we were back at Children's with Ryan. No cruise or time to recoup is more important than being with him during a hill that needs to be taken. Once we returned you could tell Ryan was at peace having us home and there will be no more planned trips away from him until we win this battle!

Ryan has a condition called V.O.D. This is a side effect of a chemo drug called Cyclophosphamide. My understanding is that this is a side effect than normally is seen in bone marrow transplant patients. However, a few cancer patients bodies get to a point where their bodies can't receive any more of this drug. Ryan is there. V.O.D. effects the liver to the point that the liver function slows down and the liver itself starts to swell. They can't treat V.O.D., they can only treat its symptoms. They have been working to regulate the pain medicines so Ryan can be comfortable during this time. He is sedated most of the day. (For all of you that know Ryan and are use to his texting, I wanted to add that update as his phone is in the draw beside his bed.) Ryan will be in the hospital for another week or so and they will be monitoring his counts and keeping him stable manually. Please pray for Ryan as he continues to be a strong fighter and he REFUSES TO LOSE!

I know I just posted this a week ago but after this issue came from nowhere, I think it is worth posting again. Each and every kid on J5 is a fighter. To what point, they determine their own fate. Tyler and Olivia have fought and are winning their battles. Megan and Joe are battling relapses and seem to be doing well. We miss Trey and Mason who fought with all they had yet knew when the battle was over. The list could go on and on.......

“Children with cancer are like candles in the wind who accept the possibility that they are in danger of being extinguished by a gust of wind from nowhere and yet, they flicker and dance to remain alive, their brilliance challenges the darkness and dazzles those of us who watch their light.”-Author unknown

Ryan's candle is still strong! Flicker it might but it is not going to be extinguished!!
-Brad

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Ryan is back at Children’s

Ryan was admitted to Children’s late on Monday night due to a fever. In the past, the fevers have been related to infections of the bladder, his central line, etc. The temperatures usually last a day or two and we get to go home.

Unfortunately, Ryan has continued to have fevers through today, and the source of the issue has yet to be determined. Please keep Ryan in your prayers as he battles this unknown illness. His counts are low and he is sleeping through the day. I will update the blog as we find out more information.

On a good note, Ryan was able to watch the Blue Jackets with his buddy Joe Friend who is in this week for chemo as well. Please keep Joe and all the kids on J5 in your prayers as each one has their own hill to climb.

-Brad

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Update 2/04/2009

“Children with cancer are like candles in the wind who accept the possibility that they are in danger of being extinguished by a gust of wind from nowhere and yet, they flicker and dance to remain alive, their brilliance challenges the darkness and dazzles those of us who watch their light.”

-Author unknown

Ryan has completed another round of chemo as the countdown begins towards to end of our treatment plan. This round of chemo really affects Ryan. Though he feels awful from head to toe, I have been more impressed with Ryan’s ability to deal with the cards he has been dealt. The let down he felt after missing the Blue Jackets Black Tie Event, the ensuing round of chemo, he has really shown personal strength and growth in how he is handling the issues. As someone told us, “On a separate note, I really could not be much more proud of Ryan. He is really reaching out, and is dealing with things in a lot more healthy way. It’s still a heck of a mountain, but I see some peace in him that is really great to see.” It is a very tough hill, but I am very proud of Ryan and how he has dealt with this awful situation. He is a winner and we REFUSE TO LOSE!

Please remember the Woods family in your prayers as they lost there son Mason yesterday at Children’s. He was nine years old. Trey’s Aunt Lissa mentioned in her blog that Trey now has a buddy to climb trees with. That is a great way to think about it. Also, remember Ryan’s friends, Megan Compton and Joe Friend as they start their treatment plans for a second time.
-Brad

Friday, January 30, 2009

Black Tie. Blue Jackets. And a Visit to Children’s…..




After a long awaited month and several opportunities to help the Columbus Blue Jackets promote the fundraiser, Ryan’s night had come! And it went out with a …..Visit to Children’s ER.

Above you will see a photo of all the "Heroes" and Ryan at the walk through of the night’s event with Jason Chimera (more photos have been added to the picture site.) He looked great and had a good time early on. But during the show a migraine headache as well as other complications caused a trip to Children’s and a battery of tests. By 2am they could not determine the cause, but did discover an abnormal EKG that will be followed up on Monday. Ryan is at home resting and recovering.

I would like to thank all of the Blue Jacket players and staff for the support they have shown Ryan. Every time he has the opportunity to be around that organization, he seems to get the strength of Superman. It was great to see some of the families that we met early on in Ryan's treatment. I will post more over the weekend.
Thanks for every ones support!
-Brad

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Back home for a big week

Ryan is back home. The source of the fever was never found, maybe just a result of the low counts. Ryan has enjoyed a somewhat quiet weekend resting at home.

Ryan will be on NBC Channel 4 news at noon on Monday. This time he will be all alone talking with a reporter on his participation with the Blue Jackets and The Hats for Heroes program. Afterwards it is off to Children's for labs.

Wednesday night is the Black Tie event for the Blue Jackets Foundation. I am sure that Thursday you can view pictures on their website at www.bluejacketsfoundation.org. But I am sure that Barry will be posting new photos from the night as well.
-Brad

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Ryan Back at Children’s

Tuesday night Ryan’s temperature spiked to a little over 101 degrees and it was off to Children’s for another visit with the J5 team. Ryan has been feeling pretty well, but the blood counts are certainly being tested by the latest rounds of chemo. His hemoglobin, white blood count and platelet’s are very low. He is receiving blood and platelets today, and we are waiting on the cultures that were drawn last night. I will post another update once we know more of what caused this most recent issue.

We as parents often talk about the kids and the parents on J5 and how we can support each other. Many times we forget about the doctors and nurses that take care of all the kids. While we fight our own battles and become close to a few children, many nurses and doctors have relationship with ALL the patients and sometimes their burden becomes overwhelming. This has become more apparent to our family with the circumstances from last week. Please keep all the care givers on this floor in your prayers: PCA’s, nurses, and doctors. Sometimes we get so caught up in our own fight we forget to thank those in the battle with us.

-Brad

Monday, January 19, 2009

A great day with a fun experiance

Hey all its Ryan,

I thought i would tell everybody about my great day on sunday. Also i would like to share a pretty fun experiance of going to try on my suit for the Blue Jackets fashion show.

Sunday the agenda was go try on my suit for the fashion show, find a pair of dress shoes, and grab some food. To try on my suit we had to go up to Saks Fifth Avenue because they are the official sponsor of the fashio show and store that is donating the clothes for us heroes to wear. i got up to the store we met up with Anna the stores manager of the men's and women's departments who was a super nice lady and was so helpful. Anna had a suit picked out for me and i had tried it on and liked it but i didnt like the fact that there wasnt a pocket in my jacket for the hankercheif : ( Anna also didnt like the idea of that so she went out and picked me a new suit. when she came back i could not have been more excited she cam back with a georgous Armani limited collection suit. so after getting everything on and getting to see it together i was so excited everything looked so good. i cant wait for the fashion show to get to wear it. Anyway the suit is all black my dress shirt is greyish silver with black pinstripes and the pinstripes on the collar and cuff match but the main part of the shirt the pinstripes are different. Anna did a great j0b of picking out a tie and hankercheif to accent my suit. she picked a Silk bright red hankercheif and a bright red tie. Anyway when it was all together its amazing. Thank you Anna. Once i had it all on together looking at myself in the mirrors i realized how amazing i look. So sitting there thinking for a bit i realized i have never had a suit and how bad i would love to havre one. plus i wanted to wear the suit more than just down the runway. we decided to buy the suit. so i am very happy with this even though i spent every penny that i had so no im broke but its very worth it. after that we were hungry and we had not been to quakersteak and lube in a while and i wanted it really bad so thats were we went for lunch. the meal was great and made me so happy i have to make sure im getting to eat there consistancy.

Overall the weekend turned out really good even though i lost my Little Buddy Trey. im going to miss him. its very tough for me. anyway i feel good and almost back to full strength. Also end the weekend with a Jackets Win in a Shootout.

Hope all is well for everyone else.
-Ryan

Sunday, January 18, 2009

A Long Weekend....

Friday morning was a rough time for Ryan as he was coming off another rough week of chemo side effects. Knowing what was ahead of him, Ryan asked to go to the day hospital for a "boost" of fluids and a quick check up. As of Friday, Ryan's count were good and with 2 bags of fluids, we were off for a long weekend.

Ryan was able to go to Trey's showing and funeral and it provided closure for him. Ryan made it through the service with great strength, and after attending, it gave strength to our family and I feel that it gave strength to the extended Martens family. After the funeral, we went to the VFW with I believe the whole town of Baltimore. The support given to this family was indescribable. It is a true testament to all the lives that Trey touched. It was good to have the time with Trey's grandparents, aunts, and close family friends. We had the opportunity to spend time with several nurses that took care of Trey, and it showed that for some it is more than a job. Even if I am the only one who knows which nurse was Trey's favorite!

Doug and Lori tried to give Ryan something fun this weekend, another night with the Jackets. You know Ryan was tired when he said he would like to go home and rest. So, we spent a quite family evening at home, still, watching the Jackets. What a tough loss. Anyway, thanks to them for trying.

Please keep Joe Friend and Megan Compton in your prayers as they both will have surgery on Monday. They both have had recent relapses and are facing challenges in the near future.
-Brad

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Trey Martens, January 14th, 2009

Trey Martens

At Children's Hospital, along side Ryan, Trey Martens fought cancer for a year. He was the first child we got to know on J5. He and his family spent the first 60 days in the room beside Ryan. After a year long battle, Trey Martens, 9 years old, passed away last night.

Please keep Wes, Shawna and Mal in your prayers. Trey, you will be missed.
-Brad

Monday, January 12, 2009

Ryan on FSN-Ohio Blue Jackets Live, Tuesday January 13th, 2009

Ryan will be a guest on Blue Jackets Live on Tuesday, January 13, 2009 at 6:30pm. He will be promoting the Blue Jackets Foundation Style Show that takes place on January 28, 2009. He will also be on the Blue Jackets radio station between periods one and two. He is really looking forward to doing this so say a prayer that this week’s chemo will not affect him as it did the last time.
Ryan is currently at Children’s receiving his chemo. So far everything is going well. I will post another entry once we determine how this week goes.
Please keep Trey Martens in your prayers. He and his family really need the support at this time. Also, two of Ryan’s friends, Joe Friend and Megan Compton have had relapses. Please keep them and all the J5 family in your prayers.
For those of you that continually follow Ryan’s blog, Miles Mom sent a note wishing Ryan well. I personally appreciate that and have attached a link to her blog. Please keep her in your prayers as well. She has some amazing posts and hopefully she won’t mind another excerpt from her blog:
Posted Jan 15, 2008 5:58pm
“…..You may have seen this: WHAT CANCER CANNOT DO. I read it periodically, after I assure myself, it could be worse, which now means, I would not have known love this pure.
WHAT CANCER CANNOT DO
It cannot cripple Love
It cannot shatter Faith
It cannot corrode Hope
It cannot destroy Peace
It cannot kill Friendship
It cannot suppress Memories
It cannot silence Courage
It cannot invade the Soul
It cannot steal Eternal Life
It cannot conquer the Spirit

I add, it cannot diminish a mother's love.” – Nancy Levin

Or a Father's love.......

http://cms.carepages.com/CarePages/en/ArticlesTips/FeatureArticles/Contributors/miles_mom.html
-Brad

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Update on Ryan's week

Ryan has been enjoying a week without chemo at home. He has been feeling well, and had the opportunity to watch the National Championship game with a couple buddies. On Friday, he was back at Children's hospital and commented that it was his most enjoyable visit to the hospital. He got to wear a blue badge, he was a visitor! Joe Friend, another kid his age that he met at a Blue Jackets game earlier in the year has had a relapse and Ryan wanted to go surprise him to lift his spirits. So in Ryan fashion, he called another friend of his and he and Jason Chimera went up to see Joe. Joe was surprised and seem to enjoy the time together. Ryan is looking forward to going to the Blue Jackets game this evening. Short term goals keep his spirits up and with his love for hockey, the Blue Jackets have given him a lot to look forward to. Ryan will be back at Children's on Monday for another round of chemo. This is the second time he has done this type, and the first time it was very tough on him. Please keep Ryan and all these kids in your prayers.

I am including a piece from a blog I have read. This is from a kid Ryan's age that fought the same type of cancer Ryan has. I think that it is an excellent analogy of life from a child so young.

Miles Levin
July 7, 2005

I went to the driving range the other day and I was thinking....

I was thinking how you start out with a big bucket full of golf balls, and you just start hitting away carelessly. You have dozens of them, each individual ball means nothing so you just hit, hit, hit. One ball gone is practically inconsequential when subtracted from your bottomless bucket. There are no practice swings or technique re-evaluations after a bad shot, because so many more tries remain. Yet eventually you start to have to reach down towards the bottom of the bucket to scavenge for another shot and you realize that tries are running out. Now with just a handful left, each swing becomes more meaningful. The right technique becomes more crucial, so between each shot you take a couple practice swings and a few deep breaths. There is a very strong need to end on a good note, even if every preceding shot was horrible, getting it right at the end means a lot. You know as you tee up your last ball, "This is my final shot, I want to crush this with perfection; "I must make this count." Limited quantities or limited time brings a new precious value and significance to anything you do. Live every day shooting as if it’s your last shot; I know I have to.
I found out today 5 year survival rates are just 20%.

Miles lost his fight in August of 2007. But he left a mark in the fight against childhood cancer, and certainly brought Rhabdomyosarcoma to the forefront with his exposure at CNN.

-Brad