We lost our beautiful son Ryan to suicide at the young age of 24. Ryan was a precocious and empathetic child. He could be mischievous at times, often curious and impulsive. He was an avid reader of anything non-fiction and could hold conversations with the articulacy of most adults at a very young age. Ryan was prone to anxiety as a child and sometimes had mild motor tics. He received a diagnosis of ADHD and Tourette’s Syndrome at the age of 7.
Throughout his school years, we sought treatment for Ryan as he began to experience bullying and rejection from his peers. Ryan tried hard to fit in, both in and out of school but was often met with ridicule and rejection. As he grew older, and attended high school he found a group of peers that accepted and loved him, but he struggled with some learning disabilities that made it difficult to focus on academic achievement which led to further distress.
As his parents, we found it difficult to navigate the mental health field for children and adolescents. There were little resources available to us and the process to find the right fit in a counselor and the high cost of sessions proved frustrating and discouraging.
Ryan’s struggles continued as a young adult and he did his best to find success, enlisting in the Marine Corp, working in construction, and becoming independent but his feelings intensified and led to further despair.
This fundraiser seeks to honor the memory of Ryan by supporting students who are passionate about pursuing a career in mental health treatment. Advocating for progress and social change in regards to bullying and harassment in K-12 as well as support and care for students with disabilities.
Just one counselor, teacher, doctor, or social worker with enough empathy and dedication could have made a profound impact on Ryan’s life.
It is our wish that we can provide financial support to a student with integrity, compassion, and a bold ambition to make a difference in the lives of those suffering with mental illness.