I recently blogged about an extraordinary family and the incredible spirit of Ryan, the son and younger brother. Many people since then have asked me how he is doing, and I’m so sad to say that he passed away on February 19th, which happened to be his 16th birthday. I was honored to celebrate his life yesterday at an achingly beautiful service with hundreds of people who loved him. Ryan was featured in this article shortly after his death, and the unbelievable courage, humor and sense of self this boy possessed is highlighted there. His motto, inspired by the USC Trojans football team he adored, was “Fight on!” That attitude of determination and sacrifice in the midst of one’s own hardships will continue to live on in the countless people who have been touched by this amazing boy, whose greatest hope was that no child would ever have to go through what he had endured. Donations to his record-breaking Relay for Life campaign will continue to be accepted in Ryan’s honor through this link, already visited by thousands of people around the world, both strangers and those who knew and loved him.
After the service yesterday, everyone was given a balloon to release in honor of Ryan. His sister, Mallory, held the sole purple balloon, representing her beloved brother and hope for the future. The red and yellow balloons corresponded to the USC colors and white was chosen to thank the angels for gently guiding Ryan home. It was a poignant symbol of his life, and the path that he has now blessedly taken toward peace.
Ryan Davidson | February 19, 1993 – February 19, 2009