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Friday, October 01, 2010

Community supports child's battle with leukemia.

by Hatcher Hurd / Appen Newspapers

Milton – When a young child is stricken with leukemia, friends and family step up. That is why there are two fundraisers for young Ryan Stannard.

The first is a fun time for all children Saturday, Oct. 2, on the grounds of Birmingham United Methodist Church in Milton near the crossroads of Birmingham Highway and Birmingham Road/Hickory Flat.

The second is a golf tournament Friday, Oct. 22, at the Trophy Club of Atlanta on Hopewell Road. Proceeds from both events will go to help Ryan and the AFLAC Cancer Center at Atlanta Children's Hospital.

"The first time we saw his sweet face, we were in love. When we traveled half-way around the world to go get our son, he was waiting there for us," said Tracy Stannard.

She and her husband went to Kazakhstan to adopt the 16-month-old boy they named Ryan. It was a dream come true.

"Words cannot express how Ryan has blessed our family and the deep love we have for him," Stannard said. "Ryan is the happiest little guy you could ever meet. He wakes up with a smile and goes to bed with that same smile."

He loves to play Wii games and Legos and play with friends. His world is movies, Scooby Doo, swimming, water guns, pirates, spiders, jokes, going to the beach and laughing.

But now, Ryan is 6 years old, soon to be 7, and he and his family are in the middle of a battle. Ryan was diagnosed July 20 with Leukemia (ALL). It gets worse. Shortly after starting his chemotherapy, he suffered a stroke from one of the medications.

He must take several medications everyday, twice a day, yet he never complains.

"Experiencing his strength teaches us how to be," said his mom.

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