It's was 25 years ago—October 17, 1996 (almost exactly in time on the clock too) as I write this as Bill, Ryan and I began winding our way through the streets of Georgetown in Washington, DC, to the same named hospital. This is the same day he was diagnosed with leukemia at 1:00 pm in the afternoon at our local pediatrician's office. The doctor knew Ryan needed to be in a cancer center and called all the major hospitals in the area that accepted our insurance and would call her back while we waited in a small exam room. Of course, I did not have a clue what was up at that time. Boy, have I gotten an education in the last 25 years though...
Of course, our lives forever changed that day. I wrote about a lot of that day, and many others, in my recently published book, The Focused Fight. I will never forget it. My family will never forget that day. But I am so glad I wrote the book so I do not have to remember all that detail any longer; it's written down now for Ryan and Olivia and others looking for hope and inspiration with a loved one.
To see Ryan battle his cancer over and over again, our community rally, family and friends doing all they could to help us, all this good will and kindness will never leave my heart and soul. If I can say a million times: Thank you, that would never be enough. I think my family feels the same way.
As a milestone poster, I could never not highlight the silver anniversary of Ryan's original diagnosis. That strong-willed boy at 2 years old fought off his cancer like a highly trained soldier. Many know his story. I'm still shaking my head after 25 years of all the CRAP he went through.
Ryan is an awesome young man of 27 years now. His sister, Olivia, I affectionately call, "The Best Daughter" is also doing very well. Our family knows the significance of a cancerversary; especially one like today, 25 years in the making to get to this fantastic day in our lives.
There are so many people to thank, and we will try to do that the rest of our days. We couldn't have survived and still be standing if not for the village that surrounded us year after year.
Giving back is our life's mission.