Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Fight To Win Ryan

We have meet a lot of very inspirational people since being introduced to the world of cancer. But I do not think anyone of them have reach the celebrity status of our friend Ryan Salmons. Every time I pick the paper or turn on the TV, Ryan is there. The reason is simple...Ryan is an incredible inspiration.

When I first meet Ryan a year ago, it had only been about a week since his diagnosis. You could read in his eyes the fear and anxiety as he entered a cold and unknown world. But soon Ryan took charge of his battle. With his dad by his side, he refused to be beaten down. With his father's help, Ryan learned about the cancer, fought his battles, studied his options, and supported the other kids. He flat out refused to lose.

Then came the Blue Jackets. The team is very involved with the cancer floor at Children's, and the players show up on a regular basis to meet the kids. But Ryan's fighting spirit and love for the game stood out, and some very close friendships were created. As those friendships grew, Ryan turned into a source of great inspiration for the entire team. He became a regular in the locker room and at team events.

Then came the big day. The Blue Jackets signed Ryan to the team! A contract, a new team photo, and a Ryan Salmons #3 Blue Jackets jersey. Then Sports Center picked up the story. Then ESPN. And the story continued to be repeated everywhere, and be a inspiration to people around the world. The Salmons #3 jersey is now the 3rd highest selling jersey on the entire team...and that's in the middle of the playoffs! Very cool.

Never, ever doubt the impact a 19 year old boy can have on millions of people. I know this sounds very weird, but I do not think I fully understood life until I saw these young people facing death. Tyler and Ryan, and so many others, have taught me a love and passion for life on a level I never could have imagined.

Life is a grand and glorious thing. Make sure you are living a life worth living. Live a life worth fighting for.

As Ryan said, "A month ago, I was given 4-to-6 weeks to live, but I'm still fighting. I'm in a window that should be closed, but I'm still fighting. Hey, they're still enjoyable things to do. Why turn over and give up when you can go out and enjoy life? I'll never know how many people I've touched or have read my story, but it's very neat to have people come up and introduce themselves and say what a big inspiration I am. They always tell me to keep fighting and that's awesome. Those things are what keep me happy and smiling and moving along."

Fight to win, young man. Fight to win.

To support Ryan, and get the jersey of the greatest fighter in Blue Jackets history, go right here.


Mama Joe said...

thank you for sharing this and all you do.

Brad said...


Thank you for including Ryan in your blog over the past year.

Just because they are our kids doesn't mean that as a father we can't learn from their wisdom.

He is a special kid and I am proud to be his father!


Mary said...

So I've never done this before but I found your page through Ryan's. I don't know Ryan personally but his stories have been hard for me to read. I check his everyday and I can't help but to check your page too. Everything I read on both of the sites is touching. I'll keep praying for you!

Ms Polly said...

Sending oodles of hugs, praises and prayers today! God bless you!
Angel hugs,
Angel_Wings Prayer Warriors