Right now the world is on pause due to COVID-19, and patients and families are all coming to terms with the struggles of their Cancer conditions, plus the added stresses of staying safe from coronavirus. EvesTrust will be here for these patients once the world is back to normal. But for now, please read Ryan’s story and Dream below, told by both his mum Maria and Ryan himself, and see how important a Dream can be, especially in this new world.
“So in late 2015, my 9 year old son Ryan started complaining of headaches, but put it down to everyday things, like being tired. Then In early 2016 the headaches continued so I took him to the opticians to have his eyes tested, thinking he may need glasses and that could be the cause. Sadly that wasn’t the case, so we went to the doctors in early March for a check-up. The doctor would diagnose Ryan as suffering with migraines, which I couldn’t accept, so we insisted on a blood test. At that point I had no idea what to think and what would be the realisation of our worst nightmares. I received a call later that day to say “Ryan has leukaemia”.
On the 1st of April 2016 Ryan went to theatre for a lumbar puncture with the results confirming what the bloods had previously told us. They said they will start him on a trial, and the chemotherapy etc. began. After a week stay in hospital, we got the chance to go home and try take it all in. After we’d been home a few days Ryan started excessively using the toilet, with his urine resembling something like Vimto. Since we’d been home he had down nothing but drink the stuff so we, and his consultant, put that down as the cause. However, as it started to concern us we took a sample and discovered it wasn’t vimto at all, it was blood. We rang the Hospital immediately to say we were bringing him back in. While we was on the way there Ryan turned to me and said, “I’m dying Mammy” and as we turned the corner and he said, “Bye Mum” and he was gone…
Panic and hysterics set in but luckily we weren’t far from the hospital and the amazing resus team were able to bring him back after battling for 6 minutes!. We would spend the next week in the ICU before being moved back to the cancer ward where sadly Ryan started to bleed again. Emergency surgery was needed and ended up with Ryan being given a stoma bag and another week in ICU, followed by 7 weeks on the Cancer ward.
On August 2017 Ryan had his stoma reversed early in the hope it would be ok and give him back some quality of life, as he didn’t have one with a stoma. As as you can imagine a 10 year old with a stoma bag.
Since that day he has lived with daily struggles, he’s been in a wheelchair since his cardiac arrest three years ago and struggles with mobility, food, and just generally getting around, Normal life as we knew it has gone and every day we see some improvement but it’s been hard on the entire family. Ryan hopefully finishes treatment this year, where he will face another hurdle as there is too much iron now around his liver, which needs to be drained once chemo has finished.
Ryan has always fought his fight with a smile, and is just a happy little 13 year old now, who with help from people like EvesTrust will continue to smile until his whole thing is over.
Ryan really is amazing, and I say it’s rare in this world you meet your hero’s but I gave birth to mine. All he’s been through and yet he just gets on with it.”
So when Ryan was diagnosed with leukaemia in 2016 at the age of 9, I was told by another parent about Eve Merton Dreams Trust Charity, I looked them up and sent an email just to find out about wishes. I had no idea the support we would get. Ryan had thought about many ideas but settled on a trip to London and the main thing was a visit to Hamleys Toy Store and to stay in a hotel, see Big Ben and Buckingham Palace.
Ryan had major complications throughout his journey so we decided we’d wait until the chemotherapy had finished, that way Clynton and the team could arrange a great trip.
So in January I started looking at dates and with Clynton’s help, EvesTrust were able to make our Dream come true, not only for Ryan but for both myself and Ryan’s brother Aidan. We travelled first class from Doncaster to Kings Cross London, where our own taxi collected us and brought us to our hotel at Tower Bridge. When we arrived there EvesTrust has already arranged to sprinkle some magic and the hotel staff were so lovely, Ryan was made feel like a VIP. They upgraded our room to a suite and when we walked in……the room was full of balloons and a light sign welcoming him. There was cake and the bed was covered in London souvenirs. The room was beautiful and he was so happy!!
The next day EvesTrust had arranged our very own tour guide (Jonathan from British Tour Company) to take us in our own chauffeured car, on a driving tour of London. Oh wow he was amazing, he showed Ryan, and us, all the sites he wanted to see and made a stop at Hamleys. Once there, and purely down to the EvesTrust giving us vouchers, Ryan had a shopping spree….which he LOVED. Then it was on to McDonald’s for Ryan’s favourites.
Jonathan told us lots of stories and made it all so very interesting, he had been told in advance what Ryan wanted to do and he had it all planned perfectly. We had a great day and Jonathan also showed us, for the Sunday morning, how to walk along the Thames and the safe areas. He really went above and beyond, as did the hotel.
Before setting off we went to Harry Potter’s platform 9 3/4 and to the Harry Potter Shop, where the staff were amazing and made sure Ryan was at the front of the queue.
I cannot say this enough but it’s thanks to Eves Trust and all the people that donate and help make dreams come true. What you all give families is an escape and a chance to recharge and make memories. For me to see Ryan so happy and love London and everything about it and feel safe was amazing. Clynton, from EvesTrust, really listened to me when I told him my concerns about walking in London and he really went above and beyond to make sure we were safe and protected throughout our stay. Of course this was before all the COVID-19 craziness had started but they had still done everything to ensure I didn’t have a worry at all. We laughed till we cried, and still talk about it now, what a great time we had. For me to spend time with my boys, just quality time, without iPads and Xboxes, was amazing.
So to LNER, British Tour Company, Novotel and the taxi companies, thank you, but more importantly thank you to Clynton, all the Eves Trust Family and all the people that donated in order to make Ryan’s Wish come true. You really made a family feel very special.
A message from Ryan:
“My wish was London I wanted to see all the places I see on TV, like where the queen lives and I really wanted to stay in a hotel and also to go to Hamleys toy store. It’s only when Mum told me I maybe could with Eves Trust that I started to get excited. I can’t believe there is people out there that never met me but were willing to pay for me and my family to have a trip like this. We went VIP style to London by train and had a taxi meet us, the hotel was lovely the bed was covered in gifts and the floor in balloons. The next day we saw London with Jonathan he had a lovely clean car and told us lots of stories about the great stink 😂 and also Harry Potter things, he was cool. All the sites were brilliant and he drove slow so I could see everything. He brought us to Hamleys where I bought my two teddies I love teddies, these are extra special and my brother bought a massive nerf gun 😬
Then McDonald’s for lunch, it was a great weekend we had lots of fun and Mum wasn’t worried at all about travelling so it was very relaxed, we took lots of photos and laughed lots mainly cause I head-butted a window, but for a weekend I forgot I was Ryan with leukaemia. For this weekend I was Ryan the VIP and that was all down to Eves Trust and all the amazing people that donated. Thank you for making me feel so special. Ryan x😃”
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