For: Ryan Connell
Organizer: Carley Murray
of $20,000 goal.
Raised by 256 donors
88% Complete
This fundraiser is closed. Thank you for your support!

The Story

Ryan Connell is a 27 year old veteran who served a tour in Iraq in 2008. He lived in New Jersey his entire life and was in the Army Naional Guard from 2008 until 2012.  He came home with headaches but never thought anything of it. He went on with his life and worked as a chef at a country club. He decided to go to college so he went to Ocean County College and received his Associates Degree. He then moved to Clementon, NJ to further his education at Rowan University so that he could one day become a history teacher. But he suffered a grand mal seizure on a Saturday evening in 2012 and soon after found out it was a mass. Ryan underwent a craniotomy of what was believed to be a benign tumor. Then a few days passed and we got the results: Stage 4 glioblastoma encompassed by a stage 2 astrocytoma. Glioblastoma is the most rapid growing form of brain cancer. He was devastated and his whole world was turned around. But we thought he is young and can beat this thing. Ryan started with Radiation and chemotherapy and continued for about a year and had all normal MRI's. Until October of 2013 where they found a small area of suspision. It was too small and in an area where it couldn't be operated on. The doctors treated him with a new chemotherapy where they were confident it would kill the blood supply to the new area. Ryan then had a follow up MRI in December of 2013 where it was discovered that the chemo had infact stopped the growth of that area but unfortuantely a new mass had rapidly developed.. This mass had grown to an inch in diameter and is affecting his speech and concentration. Unfortunately during this time he had been dropped from his father's insurance policy due to his upcoming 27th birthday in 2014 and hasn't received military bernefits due to his "pending medical discharge from the military". Ryan had high hopes that they could remove this tumor but unfortunately the team of neurosurgeons met and said that there was no way to operate and that this tumor is in places we cant even see it. It could hurt him way more than do him any good. So here we are and our only option is to take him to Duke University Hospital in North Carolina where he can be a part of clinical trials and new treatments that have been proven successful. Please help in our fight to help Ryan get the treatment he needs to beat this disease. All funds will go to Ryan's travel and medical expenses. He served our country and now it's time to give back.

Fundraiser Updates

Posted on March 26, 2014 by Carley Murray
I just wanted to give everyone an update on Ryan's condition. Duke is coordinating care with Ryan's doctors here in NJ. Unfortunately we were unable to get the trial we had hoped for but he is on experimental treatments that can suppress the tumor growth. He is currently stable and we are hoping for some good news with his next MRI in April. Thank you all again for your generosity and making it possible for Ryan to have health insurance to pay for his medical care and future follow-ups with Duke.
With our love and gratitude,
Ryan & Family

Posted on February 3, 2014 by Carley Murray
To all of you WONDERFUL CARING people out there.... Once again, you have all left us speechless. We can't thank you enough for the generosity, kind words, and hope you have given Ryan and his family.  YOU ALL have made it possible for us to get him started with his journey at  Duke. Thank you so much for the difference you have made not only in our lives, but the lives of anyone who knows Ryan. He is honestly cherished by all that know him and we are so happy to have the opportunity to finally get him treatment. Although the goal has been met, we need continuing support as this will not be a short term battle. The initial amount has been met but we need to continue this fight. Your generosity has given us more hope and optimism for a positive outcome. We love you and appreciate your ongoing support.  

Posted on January 25, 2014 by Carley Murray
I can't begin to describe with words how incredible you all are. Every time we check and see that someone has made a donation, Ryan and I can't help but tear up. It touches our hearts that there are so many of you that care so much. And Ryan is feeling so loved. Thank you and bless you all for your kindness and generosity! XOXO

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