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.
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.

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.


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.


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!)


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.

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.




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.


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.

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.

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.

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.


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.

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.

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.

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.

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.