Love To Ryan

 This is love and support for Ryan. I originally started this site for some teachers that all worked with Ryan's grandmother, but the support and love has been overwhelming. I am chanign this message to give a little more details for so many who are touched by Ryans life. We all have been sad for our friends Donna and her family this past month and concerned for her grandson Ryan. Ryan was diagonosed with a rare genetic disease - Friedreich's Ataxia at age 7 and has reached the final stage of it's course.  In kindergarten when I met Ryan,he was a loving, fun, smart little boy who ran and played with all the other kids. In first grade, his physical education teacher noticed he was having a lot of balance and coordination issues that seemed to be getting worse. She then suggested to take him to a doctor. That's when Ryan was diagonosed also days before his mom was so excited to know she was pregnant with his sister Shelby. This disease attacks all the muscles and heart . Ryan was wheel chair bound by 11. He was and still is a very intelligent boy. Which makes it so difficult because he knows what is happening. As Ryan briefly went back and attended a high school, it was a short stay. His disease got worse. When a teenage boy should be talking about girls and hanging with friends, Ryan was adjusting to feeding tubes, new wheel chairs, and getting changed, dressed and bathed by family. This past year, his voice got very weak, his hearing worse and had to get hearing aides and surgery to help with pain to implant a pain pump. His mom had to quit work a long time ago to take care of him and she decided to be her grandparents care givers too. Last month, the family burried Donna's mother and mother-in -law. His Grandma,Donna visited with me yesterday and expressed that she was going to have to look into planning Ryan's funeral this week. She does not want her daughter Aimee to do it, and they are struggling with so much. I could not imagine, planning three funerals in a month of time, especially one for your grandson. From the lady who always smiles and is positive, she definatley was at a lost. All of us have offered our wishes and prayers and many wish we could do something more. His mother Aimee, is so strong and loving.  She has taken care of her grandparents, Ryan and still keeps her daughter Shelby active and involved at her elementary school.

 I had started a collection to help with the cost of either funeral or luncheon (or whatever she needs it for) I am, and have others, looking into some places that may help as well. It was started for a small group of coworkers but has surpassed all our expectations. They are planning a one day thing because Ryan wants to be cremated. So we are raising the bar and goal....Let's give back:)  Donna help take care of me and my family when I was ill these past two years. She thought driving a person around who got sick in her car all the time was a break, so you can tell how much she has had on her plate.


Please pass this to any others that I may not have had access too. Donna has touched many and had been in the Mt. Clemens school district for 40 yrs so I know there are others Again,no obligation but so many asked what they could do. Please if you can help a family that has helped so many and has showed each other so much love and courage. They all appreciate all of love and prayers they've been getting.

hugs to you all,


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Kerri Gipson 
New Baltimore, MI
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