Thursday, April 30, 2009

Ryan Michael Salmons, May 1, 2009


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.

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.

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.

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 Below is the link to the story:

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

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.

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!

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.

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

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.


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.


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 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.

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.

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.