Road Warrior.

In 2005, at the age of three, Ryan was diagnosed with a large infiltrating brain stem tumor. A biopsy was performed which indicated that Ryan had a pilocytic astrocytoma. Ryan had an 11-hour surgery on 4/21/05 that removed approximately 95% of the tumor. After surgery, Ryan went through years of physical, occupational and speech therapy. He had to learn how to walk and talk all over again.

Ryan was treated with chemotherapy from December 2007 to May 2008 and again in February 2013. After a year of very harsh chemo treatments, Ryan’s tumor was stable. The effects of the tumor, surgeries and treatments left Ryan with many challenges including left-sided weakness, right-sided ataxia and eye muscle deficits that impact his depth perception. He rarely complained about all this and merely longed to be like everyone else. One thing he dearly wanted to be able to do was ride a bike.

Ryan began coming to the Mission Training Center seven years ago. With help from his personal trainer, he learned how to ride a bike. He completed the 10-mile course in his first CT Challenge ride in 2016. In 2017 and 2018, Ryan completed the 25-mile course. Now 17 years old, Ryan is returning to the Mission Training Center to continue to counter the after effects of his battle.

The video below is Ryan’s victory lap, shot four years ago when he finally achieved his goal of riding a bike. This is what triumph looks like. It’s what happens when hope and hard work meet the resources needed to bring them together, resources like the Mission Adventure Project.