Help Ryan West Win the #RyFight

For: Ryan West
New York, NY
Organizer: Friends of Ryan West
Help Ryan West Win the #RyFight (Ryan West)
of $75,000 goal
76% Complete
Raised by 659 donors

The Story

On September 21, 2015, Ryan West found out he had colorectal cancer. As a young, active man this came as a shock to all of us but the initial prognosis seemed promising. It wasn't until further tests were done that we were blindsided with news no one saw coming: the cancer had spread to Ryan's liver and lymph nodes.

As expected, the doctors have moved quickly to begin treatment with chemotherapy. However, this is just the start of his journey.

Ryan has touched the lives of so many people over the course of his life. This couldn't be shown clearer than in what happened when he made the decision to make the diagnosis 'public' on Facebook. I do not think anyone could have foreseen what resulted; people from all paths of Ryan's life, both current and decades past, began expressing their support. This was quickly followed by posts and photos detailing their memories of Ryan. Memories of when they met, a favorite time together, and even moments when Ryan had done something to change their life and up until now they maybe had never even told him.

It is with that in mind that we are raising funds to help Ryan with his treatment. To take the opportunity, as unfortunate as it is, to give back to someone who has given so much to all of us.

Those of you who know him are well aware that he is too proud to ask for help, which is why those us whose lives have been impacted by Ryan are doing this on his behalf.

Ryan is fortunate enough to have health insurance, however this does not cover all of his expenses. He is still responsible for a deductible, coinsurance, copays, etc. In addition Ryan is restricted to utilizing doctors who accept his insurance. While there are ample providers available due to his thankfully living in NYC, any money we collect can also be used to ensure Ryan receives the best care possible. Even if this means having to pay more for using an out of network provider.
Currently, his money is going toward specialist visits, chemotherapy and other prescription medications, and various diagnostic procedures. However, as the length of this disease is still unknown, he will increasingly have to cover more costs  (including monthly labs/blood testing, imaging every 6-8 weeks, and likely radiation therapy, visits to a radiation oncologist, surgery consultations, etc.).

Additionally, as mentioned, the upside to living in NYC is the abundance of excellent healthcare. However there is a major downside in these situations: the combination of cold winters and germ infested subways is not the best environment for an immunocompromised individual. Our hope is to raise enough money to not only cover Ryan's medical expenses but also to provide him with the ability to take taxis to and from treatment when needed.

On a lighter note and to summarize for those of you who know him in his capacity as Ryan 'The King' West:

The Kingdom’s coffers are getting a bit light. Taxes are now being collected. Long live the King.

To stay updated on the #RyFight go to:

Fundraiser Updates

Posted on April 25, 2017

Posted on April 25, 2017

Please see the note below from Clover regarding services for Ryan. We hope all of you can join us, as we know Ryan would have wanted as big of a celebration as possible.

After many long discussions with Ryan, we came to the decision that rather than a traditional funeral or wake, Ryan preferred a social occasion to celebrate his life and all the people that he cared about. Please join us on 5/5/17 from 5-10PM at MCU Park on Coney Island (the stadium where the Brooklyn Cyclones play).

Posted on April 21, 2017

Posted on April 21, 2017

Please see Ryan's blog below for information:

Posted on April 13, 2017

Posted on April 13, 2017

It has been roughly 18 months since Ryan was diagnosed with cancer and the #RyFight began. We haven't posted an update to YouCaring in over a year, instead relying on Ryan's blog which he and Clover have used to keep those who love him in the loop.

During that time the level of support for him has been beyond what any of us could have ever imagined was possible. Most importantly - it has blown away Ryan's expectations.

We're doing another update now to reach out again for that support. This post is long overdue and as a result long in length.

When we first put up this YouCaring site Ryan, like any of us would in his shoes, had a thought in his mind about how things would go and how many people would donate. Those of us starting this page had a different number. Somewhere buried in e-mails and gchats I have, and will forever, keep there are joking arguments back and forth over who was going to be right.

Needless to say all of us, every person who made a donation no matter how big or small, blew Ryan's number away. It wasn't even close (and I made sure to point that fact out to him regularly). As of right now: 427 individual donations.

I still remember the first time him and I talked about that fact face to face. It was never about the money, it was never truly about hitting a certain # of donations. It was about Ryan knowing how much people cared for him. There will never be the perfect words to explain how he looked in that moment, but it was truly written across his face that he had no idea so many people cared so deeply for him and that so many of us would be there to support him however he needed.

Since then we have held a 'horse race' themed fundraiser complete with numerous raffles, coordinated by Brenton Hard. Every item was something donated by a person that loves Ryan. We had enough tickets to fill the venue to its 150 person capacity: we sold out and had a waiting list weeks in advance.

This past fall Lena Palmer created a calendar for Ryan, containing friends from the ultimate frisbee community who volunteered to pose 'tastefully nude'. Again there was friendly arguing over who was going to be right on the number sold. Again we won and got to say "I told you so".

My biggest regret, greater than all others, will be that I never wrote down more quotes of Ryan's; not only with this, but everything. That exactly what he said in those moments, his exact expression of how all of this support made him feel, wasn't kept track of word for word. And instead we have this long, twisting post.

The last 18 months have been unimaginably difficult, I'd be lying if I said otherwise. But you would not know how hard it has truly been seeing and talking with Ryan. It's in his nature to worry about everyone else, when he should just be worrying about himself. You can see it in the tone he uses and the way he conveys updates in his blog posts: he shields as many people as he can from the true struggle behind the scenes. To some extent or another he has shielded all of us, even those who have been closest to this fight.

The support we've spent so much time talking about is what gives him the strength to do that. To not have to worry about whether or not he can afford the treatment he needs, but focus on fighting the cancer. To not have to give up the things he loves, to not have those things taken away from him, to keep living the life he chooses. Even if one of those things is still working a full time job while running his own business AND hosting trivia every single week while battling Stage 4 cancer (if you can't tell...that has been a major point of contention, which unfortunately Ryan's stubbornness has won...).

Despite everything he has been put through the last 18 months, Ryan has never asked for anything. Never made a single demand. Things have been getting progressively harder for him since the day he was diagnosed, but he was still so worried about stressing others out that he would refuse to tell you what he needed.

We've finally been able to get Ryan to provide us with a list of things he wishes to do, a 'bucket list' of sorts. Clover got him courtside Knicks tickets, this weekend he is going to see Saturday Night Live, and soon he will sit ringside at a boxing match.

But that isn't enough. It can't be enough.

The reason for that is because if the roles were reversed, if any one of us had cancer instead of Ryan, he would not stop until he personally accomplished every single item on our list. We all know he somehow would manage to do that, no matter how weird the request was. Pulling off ridiculous things has always been Ryan's super power.

The list in the latest post on his blog barely scratches the surface of what he has done, but for any other person it would be unimaginable.

It hurts to admit but I know realistically, deep down, we won't be able to accomplish everything he wants. We'll never be able to pay him back with experiences to match what he has given all of us.

The least we can do is try to give him as many as we can.

And that is the point of this round of fundraising: to raise enough money to accomplish as many things on his list as we can. Whether it is something simple like 'riding a horse' or creatively solving the puzzle of how to 'have a nerf gun fight at the OK corral".

There is a final piece that needs to be stated, but writing these updates is not easy and I don't think any of us is at a point where we want to discuss it more than necessary. So we apologize for being brief.

Any funds raised for Ryan's bucket list that aren't able to be used, will be saved and put towards a memorial, FUNeral and other expenses which arise from losing a loved one.

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