High school commencement is a date to look forward to and remember, but not in the way it will be remembered by Ryla. Due to a genetic condition, this strong-willed young lady has dealt with benign tumors along her nerve lines all of her life. And for the last 11 years she has dealt with the side effects of a benign brain tumor. When a second one was discovered this spring, they assumed it too would be benign. The day before her graduation ceremony, they found that it was actually an aggressive form of brain cancer.
What a terrible blow to this creative, kind, and outgoing teen who had her summer planned with activities and events; however, because the tumor was too invasive to remove immediately, Ryla’s plans instantly changed. Old plans were scrapped, and she immediately began seven weeks of daily radiation and other treatments to try to shrink the tumor and stop its growth.
As you can imagine, Ryla and her family have experienced a whirlwind of emotions. Their main focus has been enjoying their time together and maintaining a sense of normalcy during this traumatizing ordeal. Even after her diagnosis, this busy gal endured radiation while keeping up with her job at a daycare, assisting with church activities, volunteering with kids and participating in a community theater production of The Wizard of Oz. And then they heard about Wishes & More and the opportunity for Ryla to receive a wish and a Scholarship of Hope. They respectfully asked if they could experience her wish during the break between radiation and chemo treatments, and we were happy to fulfill her Disney Wish during the specified timeline! Ryla, her twin sister Rinoa, and younger siblings Cory and Halle all loved spending time at Give Kids The World – Ryla especially enjoyed seeing all the other wish kids and siblings and made lasting friendships with others staying at the Village. She was also chosen by a wand at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, swam nearly every night, met her favorite princess Snow White (among others), and simply had a blast making as many memories with her family as possible. Now that she’s home, Ryla continues her battle enduring 3-4 different chemo protocols and we want to make sure she knows we are thinking about her and hoping her memories of her magical wish trip stay with her throughout her continuing treatments!