A Scripps Ranch teenager is recovering from a bone marrow transplant with support and well wishes from some of the world’s best and well-known golfers.
Dylan Ryan,14, has dreams of one day becoming a professional golfer himself, and in February, made the freshman golf team at Cathedral Catholic High School.
“I was super excited and stoked to play, and then, of course, I get news that I have Leukemia,” Dylan Ryan said.
Scott Ryan said his son started having headaches and feeling lethargic. It turns out, Dylan’s blood levels had dropped, and when taken to Rady Children’s Hospital, was almost in anemic shock. Days later, doctors made the cancer diagnosis.
“It’s a moment in my life I’ll never forget. It was just him and I in the room and he just hugged me and started crying and said, 'Why me?,'" Scott Ryan said.
Dylan was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML). According to doctors, this particular form of Leukemia is rare for patients Dylan’s age. He is one of about 80 people under the age of 18 world-wide to have a high risk level of AML.
After two rounds of chemotherapy, doctors determined he would need a bone marrow transplant.
His father says a 21-year old man was a perfect match with the same blood type. Dylan received his bone marrow stem cells via blood transfusion on June 10 and is currently in recovery.
“My counts are all pretty low, all my blood counts, so I’m not feeling the best, but I’m definitely trying to stay strong and hang in there,” Dylan Ryan said.
To help offer support, many pro golfers and other athletes have sent Dylan well wishes via his Instagram page @DylanWillGolfAgain. They’ve also sent autographs and memorabilia.
“I know you’ve got a tough road ahead, but we’re all here pulling for you, hoping for the best, obviously want to see you out there on the golf course soon,” said golfer Ricky Fowler via video message.
“Despite these tough times, I just want you to stay encouraged and keep chasing your dream to becoming a professional golfer and hopefully I can see you out here one day, take care,” said golfer Xander Schauffele.
“I want to wish you all the best. Stay positive, stay strong,” said Ian Poulter.
“Viktor Hovland, he was the first, he’s amazing and Justin Thomas, and Ian Poulter, all these people are sending me videos and I’m just really thankful for that. And I can’t wait till I get out there and maybe hang out with them or play around,” Dylan Ryan said.
Scott Ryan and his wife Amy have been at the hospital every day with Dylan. The family says it’s grateful for all of the community support, and are hopeful they will get to meet the anonymous bone marrow donor in the future.
The family is also determined to help pay the kindness forward and help other cancer survivors.
Next Wednesday, June 23, a blood drive will be held in Scripps Ranch, a day before Dylan’s 15th birthday. Information can be found, here.