Our Story

Ryan was first diagnosed in 2006 at the age of 15 with Rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare type of soft tissue sarcoma. After having the tumour removed, he underwent nine months of intensive chemotherapy and lived life normally for over a year.


Sadly in late 2008, when Ryan was 17, the cancer returned and had spread to his spine and pelvis, making it terminal. Despite this devastating news, Ryan refused to give up. He took any chemotherapy offered, even new ones, to get more time. Ryan knew he had only months or weeks left, but he didn't let his friends or even girlfriend know this. All he wanted was to be treated as normally as possible.


Ryan found joy in the simple things right up until the end. Music meant a lot to him - his neighbour Alan was teaching him to play electric guitar. Some of his favourite bands were My Chemical Romance, The Killers and Biffy Clyro. He loved distinctive clothing, often wearing cartoon-printed or skeleton hoodies and later, beanie hats when his hair had begun to fall out.


Ryan joined the Ashington detachment of the Army cadets before his diagnosis and went as often as he could, right up until the week before he passed away.

Against all odds, just months before passing away Ryan passed his driving test. He loved being behind the wheel and found any excuse to go for a drive. You could count on him for a lift!

Despite constant chemo and severe pain, Ryan lived life to the fullest until finally losing his battle on July 19, 2009 at home, just weeks after his 18th birthday. He is dearly missed by his loving sister Kelsey, who he was 7 years older than. And although she annoyed him at times (like younger siblings should!), he adored her and was a brilliant big brother.


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