On Sunday, August 12th, I will be running the Falmouth Road Race to raise money for a wonderful cause and more specifically, for an amazing little boy who has continued to excel despite being faced with significant obstacles.
Ryan Feeney was diagnosed with Neurofibromatosis 1 (NF 1) at 4 months old. NF 1 is a genetic condition that causes tumors to grow anywhere in or on the body. While the tumors are usually benign, they may be a concern if their location means that they’re pinching a nerve or interfering with other parts of the body. In addition to the growth of tumors, a small percentage of people with NF can develop tibial dysplasia. Tibial dysplasia is the excessive bowing or curvature of the long bones. Ryan was diagnosed with this condition. Ryan’s right leg was braced immediately, but when Ryan was 9 months old, his right tibia broke while in the brace due to bowing. His leg was put in a cast for 2 months, but healing did not take place. Just shortly before Ryan’s first birthday, he had reconstructive surgery on his tibia. A telescopic rod was placed inside his right lower leg to help support his fragile tibia. At 18 months, (6 months post-op) Ryan’s parents were told that his leg was not healing and the rod had shifted. On March 5th 2012, Ryan's right lower leg was amputated.
Ryan’s parent’s, Shawn and Jill, are great friends and continue to amaze me with their strength, perseverance, and positive outlook with what has been a process that no parent can ever be prepared to experience. With parents like Shawn and Jill, it’s no coincidence that Ryan has continued to thrive, not letting his situation slow him down a bit, always trying to keep up with his big brother Jack and always doing it with a big smile on his face! Ryan, or “Ryno” as he is called due to his tendency to charge forward like a Ryno, is really an amazing little boy!
Shawn, Jill, myself and others will be running together for this year’s Falmouth Road Race in support of this great cause. All donations will go directly to NF Northeast, a non-profit organization in Burlington, MA. The Mission of NFNE is to find a treatment and the cure for neurofibromatosis by promoting scientific research, creating awareness, and supporting those who are affected by NF.
My fundraising goal has been set at $1,000 but with your support, I hope to exceed that goal!!
Thank you for your support...and go Team NF Northeast!