Medical & Healing

Ryan Dunne, 30 years of age, has had to have medevac transportation to the Veterans Administration Hospital in West Haven, Connecticut due to the severity of his current condition and need of immediate chemotherapy. After serving four years in theU. S. Army, graduating from the Intelligence School in the Top 10 at Fort Huachuca and completing a tour in Afghanistan, Ryan was in Phoenix, Arizona studying to become an engineer. He started experiencing flu-like symptoms and went to the doctor. The life changing diagnosis was presented as lymphoma. Further tests, including a bone marrow biopsy, confirmed that he has acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). In short malignant, immature white blood cells that continuously multiply and are overproduced in the bone marrow. ALL causes damage and death by crowding out normal cells in the bone marrow, and by spreading to other organs. ALL is most common in childhood with a peak incidence at 2"“5 years of age, and another peak in old age. About 80% to 90% of adults with ALL will have complete remissions after treatment. That means leukemia cells can no longer be seen in their bone marrow. But in about half of these patients the cancer will come back (relapse), so the overall cure rate is around 40%.

Thanks to the miraculous chain of events that has unfolded so far, Ryan is on a long journey to once again fight. In this case for his own life. You see, a wonderful friend of his from high school had a connection in Phoenix who in turn had a connection with Cindy McCain, wife of Senator, and former presidential candidate, John McCain of Arizona. In less than one day, the McCains were aware of Ryan's condition and sent their son Jim to meet with him in the hospital. Always a ferocious advocate for veterans, Senator McCain chose to intervene on Ryan's behalf and provide the Medevac transportation. There are no words that could express the depth of gratitude felt for those involved in getting him there.

Ryan is in his second week of undergoing his intense 4-6 week chemotherapy treatment. This will leave him incapacitated and without an immune system. After results of the chemotherapy, it will be determined whether he is a candidate to receive a bone marrow transplant. As a veteran Ryan is entitled to benefits during his chemotherapy, however, there aren't any provisions for his long term care and the battle ahead.

As we who read this can only imagine if it were a loved one of ours, or maybe have too gone through similar life experiences. This day of battle begins. I make a plea for all to help Ryan WIN the war. Needless to say the road ahead will take courage knowing the uncertainty. The grueling treatments and expenses are endless for Ryan and his family. Many people have asked how they can help so we are organizing this site with hopes of helping raise money and support for Ryan and his family during this extremely difficult time. His family will have to take time away from work, endure medical bills not covered by the Veteran's Administration and face challenges ahead. Please find it your heart to consider making monetary donations to one of our own, that we personally consider one of our American Heros.

Thank you in advance for all you can do. Please keep Ryan and his family in your prayers.
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Robin Coe 
Hamden, CT
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