Ronan's Cancer Fight & Dreams Fund

$98,350 of $100,000 goal

Raised by 660 people in 8 months
Created August 29, 2018
In August 2018, our family received news that turned our world upside-down. My gentle, soft spoken, considerate, smart, athletic, 12 year old nephew was diagnosed with a Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG), a terminal, inoperable brain tumour in the brain stem.  Ronan's life expectancy is measured in months now, but we hope to beat the average and make these months memorable for him and his family.  He will complete a round of radiation therapy, and that will hopefully shrink the tumour temporarily and gain some precious time.
My name is Karla Rice, and I have set up this fundraiser for my sister Sarah Jane, her husband Mark, and their sons Ronan and Aidan.
There are no words that can describe the complete and utter shock, grief and helplessness that Sarah Jane, Mark and their entire family felt when hearing this news. Knowing that their son, a sweet, kind boy with unlimited potential will never grow up is an unbearable thought.  His little brother Aidan will have to live his life without the support and love of his big brother.  They will never reach those milestones together that we assumed would be a part of their lives.  His grandparents, cousins, aunties, uncles, friends and countless others will forever be impacted by his life.
The remaining time with Ronan is so very precious.  While he undergoes his radiation treatments, and we hope to hear of a new, promising treatment that might be discovered, we are trying to turn our focus on making his life be the absolute best it can be in the time we have left.  There is a lifetime of experiences and memories to create in a few short months, while also having to plan for the additional costs for his medical and at home care in the months to come.  
So many people who know him, struggle with trying to figure out how they can help.  Most of us want to help Ronan fulfill his dreams and ensure not a single moment is wasted - to make Ronan's life as full, happy and comfortable as possible.  Sarah Jane and Mark’s colleagues, friends and extended family have been asking about a go fund me page.  The outpouring of support has been amazing, and Sarah Jane and Mark are so thankful for the thoughts, prayers and support for Ronan and their family.   This fundraiser will help them make a lifetime of memories for Ronan and their family, and to provide for him the help and care he needs in his battle with cancer.
Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for your support.

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From Sarah Jane and Mark...
The fight is over. Ronan peacefully passed on Sunday afternoon. This last week got tough, the last couple of days became unbearable. It became so hard for him to function in any way. This disease is cruel and shows no mercy. To take a breath took energy. Finally Saturday night he seemed more at peace. He even opened his eyes when Aidan held his hand and said goodnight. We were lucky enough before we increased his sedation meds to get many “love you too”’s. We realized as morning came that although Ronan seemed sedated he was actually quite aware of what was going on. He tried with all his might to communicate to us and we were amazed that he knew us so well he had a way of succeeding. He squeezed my hand when I asked yes or no questions. By the time noon came he was in distress again so we again made med increases. His nurses had come and they were just about to leave when Ronan decided enough was enough! He gave us no warning. He just peacefully stopped breathing. Mark and I were by his side the whole time.

For 278 days we have been dreading this day. We knew it was coming we just never knew when. For 10 weeks we watched for all the signs that death was nearing and honestly dreaded the thought of the pain. He gave us quite a few scares and it was an emotional rollercoaster. The last two days were exceptionally hard. We prayed that he would get his wish, to go to sleep and never wake - he finally got his wish. He spared us in many ways by giving us no lead up. He just took his last few breaths. It was incredibly peaceful. It was incredibly devastating. As a family we gathered to say our goodbyes. When the time came for Ronan to leave the house all our family, our friends and neighbours stood outside and escorted him to the vehicle. It was peaceful and we were so glad he was not alone, that we were not alone. His nurse Sandy personally escorted Ronan to his next point of care. Ronan became a donor last night. His tumor for research. His heart valves and eyes will gift life and sight to other children.

Now we begin the next stage of our journey. It will be a hard one. Our hearts ache. Many of you have asked about Aidan. I don’t yet have the words to explain his pain. He is lonely even though he is surrounded by a sea of love. I am SO thankful he had his aunty Jen, uncle Sean and cousins yesterday who let him escape the hurt and all the tears for a few hours. I watched them care for him in the most lovingly ways. Kids need kids. I am thankful he used his words to tell us he needed out. I pray he continues to use his words. Ronan was ever so thoughtful and had prepared a gift and note for Aidan for when the time came. It gave Aidan great comfort to read Ronans words. ❤️

We can’t forget about Little Hero. What an amazing pup. He became quiet. He sat and didn’t bark at every human that entered the house. For those of you have met Hero, you know how big this is! He gave us all tail wags and kisses. Again his coat held far too many tears.

We will share the details of the service as soon as it’s arranged. All are welcome. We thank all of you for your love and support. Help us keep Ronans memory alive. Say his name proudly and loudly. Share your stories with us in all the days, months, and years to come. Do not fear that we may burst into tears - we certainly may - but remembering Ronan will always bring us joy.

Rest In Peace Dear Ronan. We know your list of “to do’s” was long - first up snowboarding! You are loved, you will be forever missed.
Mom, Dad, Aidan and Hero
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I want to give you an update as I imagine you might be thinking of Ronan and wondering how things are going.  It is hard to know what to say because it varies from hour to hour and things are so unpredictable.  His level of sleepiness has increased dramatically the last few days.  He has great difficulty hearing and can’t move much other than his left arm and turning his head.  The goal is always to just keep him in a comfortable state and Sarah Jane & Mark are giving around the clock care to make that possible.

Just recently, as we were chatting by his bedside, we were reminded of another special memory that I never shared with you all.  As many of you know, one of Ronan’s first items to be checked off the crazy list last August was skydiving.  He loved it.  He loved it so much that he wanted to do it again and on October 5th, 2018, him, his dad, and his Aunty Julianne all jumped from a plane.  

Once again, the crew at Eden North were so helpful and fantastic.  Lyal (who took Ronan on his first jump) was hurt, but Gleb was there to jump with Ronan this time, and he accepted Ronan’s challenge to exit the plane
backwards.   This time, Mark went second (rather than first) so he got to watch his son literally flip out backwards without any fear.   It was awesome to watch Ronan smiling as he spun and flipped in the air.   He was fearless and felt exhilarated.  Then Julianne got on the second plane.  She had experienced skydiving before but this was her first tandem jump, which means a longer freefall.  

Ronan will now advise anyone who wants to try skydiving to do it twice. The first time he says you don’t recall as much. But the second time you can look around and enjoy the experience. Mark was not pale when he landed this time. He really enjoyed his second dive.

Lyal also took Ronan for a ride on his side by side ATV which was fast and fun.  Eden North put together a video for each of them to look back on…
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R7zsWTrsI1U <%22>  (Ronan’s video)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kBTZB6JqL4o <%22>  (Mark’s video)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZXI3budAZQI <%22>  (Julianne’s video)

The video below is a collection of just a few pictures from that day…
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A glance at another bucket list item…

Sept 30th, 2018 Ronan’s wish for an EPIC NERF WAR was crossed off his bucket list. The people at The Foundry ( https://foundrytraining.com/) have hosted many Nerf wars, and they went the extra mile organizing this one for Ronan. The owner, Misty, began as a friend of Aunty Julianne’s but over the years, has become someone very dear to our whole family. Before the big day of battle, Misty invited Ronan and Aidan over to modify a nerf gun together in her garage with tools and paint etc. So much fun for the boys and yet another item crossed off his list - “Nerf Mod with Misty”. The day of the Nerf War, Ronan wasn’t feeling well. The symptoms from the tumor were worsening making his stomach sick, his balance off, his vision was effected and his energy was low. In true Misty style, (she doesn’t give up or give in when there is a goal to be reached), she came up with a plan. She set Ronan up in his own special base raised above the ground with him as the leader of the battle. Misty and Maya set out all the rules of battle/play and the kids listened attentively. This group was much larger than the norm so teams were formed and kids rotated through like pros. It was so amazing to watch these kids play and protect Ronan. Not one complaint was lodged. Not one disagreement occurred. They battled and laughed. At first they were cautious to aim at Ronan but once he got the big Rival gun out they had no choice but retaliate. With no prompting from anyone his buds took turns staying by his side and keeping his gun loaded and ammo restocked. Uncle Pat and Uncle Tim became big kids for the afternoon and joined in the battle. Mark was not feeling well that day so the uncles stepped in to help out. A large contingency of parents watched and visited from the upper viewing area. It was great fun watching from our perch safe from bullets. When the battle was over, Ronan had to determine who would win for acting the “best glorious death”. Misty awarded the winners with some cool Nerf gun prizes and everyone got a candy bag for their efforts.

Attached are some photos that I put into a you tube clip, but be sure to check out the way cooler video that was professionally produced by Cadden & Bell Productions. Rebecca Bell is another family friend who, along with her colleague James, have helped us capture so many of treasured memories since Ronan’s diagnosis. James so bravely waded through the nerf battle to capture the fun.

Thank you to Aunty Mary for sewing on the patches that the EPS tactical unit gave the boys. They were pumped to be able to wear them on their clothes for this day.

Thank you to Misty and Maya for making the day so much fun. It was important to Ronan and us that memories were made. All the kids that participated have continually spoken of this day. Mission accomplished!
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Amber Bauer - Ronan & Aidan's music teacher, who quickly became family friend, was moved to write a song for Ronan. She was hesitant to share it publicly but we asked her to. It is beautiful - both the lyrics and her voice. Please have a listen and share this song - Ronan’s story. We wish the world could have known Ronan. We can proudly say that he is truly a very special human being and as Uncle Billy once told us - the world will never be the same again. Those words have remained in our mind daily as they are so very
true. #ourherowearsniceshoes

Below the video on you tube, you can read Amber's words where she shares a little more on how she knows Ronan and what the song means to her.
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$98,350 of $100,000 goal

Raised by 660 people in 8 months
Created August 29, 2018
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