Ryan was a blessing to everyone who knew him. He was known for his faith, strength, and compassion. He smiled through difficult times and always cared about others even when he was very ill himself. He cared about his family, friends, teachers, doctors, and nurses, and he cared a great deal about other kids battling cancer.
Ryan loved watching football (especially the Green Bay Packers) and playing football with his friends. He enjoyed playing with Legos and building Lego models, some of which were several thousand pieces. He loved animals, wildlife, and especially his cats. Ryan also enjoyed art. He enjoyed molding, coloring, designing, building, and creating. He was most well known for his origami.
Ryan started doing origami while in the hospital and the more he learned about it, the more he wanted to learn. He checked origami books out of the library and tried lots of patterns. He also developed patterns of his own. Soon he had several origami books and piles of origami paper and there were hundreds of origami creations around the house. Lots of people would ask him to make origami for them and one day he was approached with the idea of selling his origami. His first question was regarding what the money raised would be used for. He was told it would go towards whatever he wanted and he responded, "I want it to go towards childhood cancer research". And so the origami sales began. Ryan's foundation of choice was the MACC Fund. Through the sales of his origami, he raised $2,700. 64 for MACC. His last origami sale was just weeks before he died at which he raised over $600.00 for MACC.
One day, a couple of weeks before he passed away, Ryan became very upset. When asked what was wrong, he said that he was upset because he wouldn't be able to raise any more money for the MACC Fund. Even though he knew his prognosis, he still wanted to help other kids battling this horrible disease. His family promised him that they would continue to raise money for the MACC Fund in his honor. From this promise was born the idea of the "Inspired by Ryan" Arts Fair.