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Who is Ryan?
Ryan Shines! So who is Ryan?
Ryan was an energetic little boy whose light shone on everyone in his path. He was loving and smart. Both, and in that order. When the two of us would go shopping, you could watch him "shine with his smile."
Ry-Ry was a seven-year-old who was born knowing how to make people happy. The only way I can explain it is that he was a remarkable gift straight from God's heart to ours.
It's difficult to talk about Ryan in the past tense. Ryan IS! He is my partner in everything. When "Ryan Shines Burn Foundation" was only a dream in his mother's heart, it was Ryan's infinite inspiration that made the dream come true.
The Foundation is a living, breathing reality built on his life, his death, and his life everlasting.
Ryan was torn from our lives in an instant. In 2001, our family was trapped in an automobile fire that robbed us of our son. Our angel-boy, our 7-year-old, was gone, and the fire left my husband, our 2-year old, Tyler, and me with burns over 25% of our bodies. Sometimes when I get lost in his absence, but that's when a butterfly will fly around my head and light on my arm, or the sun will reveal the wonder of my garden! He's not gone! In fact, he still thrills me all the time.
Of all the names I'm known by, I am proudest to be called mom. I'm always, in all ways, Ryan's mom!
"You know why I love spending time with these pediatric survivors? I don’t see their scars, and I treat them like the regular kids they are.
In return, they are helping me forget the things I need to forget.”
"After I left yesterday I felt so alive and know deep inside your mission is where I am supposed to be. Being able to help the kids along with helping my brother and sister first responders would be so unbelievable. I am so in."
"The boy was my boy’s age. There was nothing the kid could do to help himself, and nothing that I could do for him.
There are some things you just can’t unsee. So me hanging out with these kids is healing for me too, and healing with them is an indescribable feeling."