Join Team Ryan in the Second Battle Against Cancer: Contribute to Medical Bills and Living Expenses
Do you know Ryan? If you don’t, you are missing out. Ryan is one of the most incredible people in the world, maybe THE most incredible. She brings joy, humor, sparkle, glamour and grit to everything she does.
In 2013, Ryan battled a very aggressive form of breast cancer. She endured grueling chemo and a double mastectomy including lymph nodes. Her oncologist proclaimed her cancer free.
Ryan spent the following few years living a fabulous life exactly on her own terms, living in California and Oregon and even in a tent in Alaska among various sizable bears and curious moose. She returned to MN (based somewhat on the pathetic begging of her best friend) and found a work home as the Shipping Final Boss at Minneapolis’s Herbivorous Butcher.
Flash forward, July 2018. Ryan was experiencing tightness in her chest, minor localized pain, and some difficulty breathing. The clinician diagnosed this as simple seasonal allergies and prescribed an inhaler. Unfortunately, the real diagnosis wasn’t as simple.
Ryan went to the emergency room a couple weeks later where she had over a liter of fluid removed from her lungs. This fluid tested malignant, which meant her breast cancer had returned with a vengeance and it had spread to her lungs. Her oncologist remained hopeful and optimistic, as tests were being performed, that she would have many good years. Ultimately, her PET scan revealed that the cancer was in several parts of her body, including some small spots in her brain.
What does this mean? Well, it means that Ryan is sick. This cancer is incurable. Her oncologist is still cautiously optimistic that she has good years left, and there is a rigorous treatment plan in place. She will need several different types of chemo, three of them for the first few months and two for the foreseeable future. She will need frequent (but hopefully less frequent as the treatment begins working) procedures to drain her lungs of the fluid that keeps accumulating, making breathing difficult and causing a persistent cough.
The spots in her brain will require careful monitoring. As of now, there is no swelling around them which is a good sign. Should they begin growing, they will require radiation as the chemotherapy drugs do not penetrate the blood/brain barrier. Radiation on the brain has undesirable cognitive effects, and so we remain hopeful that these spots continue to be small and unchanging.
Ryan has health insurance through her very generous employer, however, the copays are substantial. Ryan will also need funds to help with living expenses, as we aren’t sure yet if or how much she will be able to work.
Please join Team Ryan, Ryan’s sweet boyfriend Nels, her best friend Chelsea, all of her loving coworkers at the Herbivorous Butcher, and Ryan’s family in supporting this beautiful person who has touched so many lives by giving whatever you are able.
We thank you so much for your generosity, your well wishes, and your presence in Ryan’s life.