Riley is a 19 year old boy with autism, a heart of pure gold, and a body riddled and tortured with cancer. Riley has struggled throughout his life due to autism, but has never projected any negativity towards life or others. He has always maintained a very positive outlook on life, on his dreams, his accomplishments, and has never allowed anything or anyone to hold him back from moving forward and enjoying life.
In August 2010 Riley was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma (bone cancer) in his right tibia. He underwent surgery to remove his tibia, which was replaced by an internal prosthesis, and was subjected to numerous chemotherapy treatments until June 2011. At that point Riley was deemed cancer free.
Riley returned to school and a somewhat normal life. He had to re-learn to walk and do his best to live like a normal 17 year old boy. The surgery left him unable to run, jump, and enjoy any high-impact sports or activities.
October 13, 2013, Riley went in for his routine follow up appointment. At this appointment Mariah, Riley's mom, was informed that there was a recurrent tumor in Riley's left hip. An immediate biopsy was done and his port was re-installed. A short week later he started chemotherapy. Riley received three rounds of chemo that caused seizures and changed the white matter in his brain. Due to his response to the chemo they had to stop the treatments.
Riley's tumor has since doubled in size and caused his hip bone to break, which leaves him without any options for treatment or surgery. I too have a son with Osteosarcoma and can assure you that this is any mother's absolute worst nightmare! Mariah is not taking this easy and does not feel that she can just "give up". They have put Riley on hospice to help with pain management.
At Riley's last appointment the doctor's told Riley and Mariah that there is nothing more that they can do and it is just a matter of time. During a conversation between Mariah and Riley he said, "I do not want to be buried, I want my ashes spread in the ocean." When Mariah told me this it completely broke my heart. Then she said that he has never even been to the ocean. She wants him to be able to experience the ocean if that's where he wants his final resting place to be.
I hope that as a community we are able to assist in making this a reality for Riley. If he envisions the ocean to be so peaceful and beautiful, I would like him to experience it during this journey. Mariah told the Oncologist that she is trying to plan a trip to the ocean in April, to which the doctor said she would need to plan it sooner than that.
Please help me in making this trip a reality for Riley and Mariah!
I thank you for any donation you can offer with all of my heart!