Our mission is to send young adults with life-threatening illnesses on a Victory Trip of their choice. We pick up where Make-A-Wish® leaves off, targeting those diagnosed over the age of 18.
In addition to physical therapy, Ryan worked out with the team, completed the spring semester then spent the summer back home in Pismo Beach. In August of 2016 Ryan returned to CMU. In early September, Ryan traveled to Pennsylvania as a volunteer for the Little League Challenger program for one week. The Challenger Division is a program offered by Little League to enable boys and girls with physical and mental challenges to enjoy the game of baseball.
While there Ryan didn’t feel well. It was soon discovered that Ryan had developed Leukemia, a side effect resulting from the severe treatment required for treating Ewing’s Sarcoma; he was flown to UCLA Medical Center in California on September 13, 2016. After more intense treatment followed by a bone marrow transplant, Ryan bravely battled through breakthroughs and setbacks.
Ryan’s passion to provide encouragement and inspiration for others has become a reality with the creation of 17 Strong. The non-profit will focus on funding Victory Trips to young adults battling life threatening diseases.
When Ryan was eight years old, he researched Biblical meanings of numbers and discovered that 17 stands for Victory. From then on, 17 became Ryan’s number. After his initial cancer diagnosis, his cousin Charlie coined the name “17 Strong” to show his support for Ryan.
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