Meagan and Ryan got engaged last October. I will never forget that day, because Ryan asked me to be a part of it. About a month and a half earlier, I got an email from Ryan, as did all of Meagan's friends and family, asking us to commit to being a part of a flash mob proposal. We had scheduled practices and all avoided Meagan so we wouldn't slip up and say something. Finally proposal day came, and it was awesome. She went to lunch with her mom and sister after lunch the ladies stopped for some ice cream and took a seat on a bench to enjoy the beautiful fall weather. Little did they know were were hiding upstairs watching out the window of Barnes and Noble. When we got the signal, we all snuck around to get into place.
The two share a love of their two dogs, being active and the Arizona Cardinals. They often spend time together hiking with the dogs, going to cross fit or just having fun. Their wedding is planned for February.
Unfortunately two weeks ago Ryan, 31, was in a BMX bike accident while visiting family in Las Vegas. A trip that originally was the least of Meagan's worries due to the nature of his career that took him to lots of scary war torn places. He awoke in the hospital, unable to feel his legs. Meagan and her twin sister Lauren immediately got in the car and made their way to Vegas. Meagan has not left his side since.
Ryan had to have surgery to stabilize his vertebrae. The doctors said there was nothing they could do about the damage to his spinal chord. They told him he would have to get used to life in this new body. But Ryan is not one to give up. You'll notice the big smile on Ryan's face in each of these photos. He dove into physical therapy with a smile and a positive attitude. He is determined to walk again. Although the future is uncertain, Meagan is determined to keep him going.
Meagan works in retail and Ryan is a boom operator for the air force national guard (yeah, I didn't know what the meant either, but it means he refuels other planes in the air- like mid flight). A job that requires trips to scary places and a lot of worry.
They are lucky to have a huge network of support. Family and neighbors rallied to do the demolition work on their current bathroom so construction workers could have it ready for Ryan before he comes home. A sign up has circulated for people who want to make meals for the couple. T-shirts have been ordered to show support and wear upon his arrival home. And countless prayers have been said (even some by my fabulously caring readers). As you can imagine, the bills are stacking up. Medical expenses not covered by insurance and some major renovations to their home to make it wheelchair accessible are the major costs at this point.
To help with these costs, they have partnered with HelpHopeLive, a nonprofit that collects funds for individuals to aid with uncovered medical expenses. If you find yourself touched by Ryan's story, if you have ever know someone or you yourself have had to overcome insurmountable odds, if you are looking for a way to make a difference for someone, I encourage you to click here and make a donation (click "Donate Now" at the top of the page.) Every bit counts, so no donation is too small. If you can't make a donation, I simply ask you continue to keep these two in your prayers.
It means so much to me that you guys read my blog. It means so much to me that I get support every day from my readers. It means so much that you all care. I know how much it has meant to Meagan and Ryan to have you on this journey with them too.
I'd like to leave you with this, it's a quote from the shirt we all bought to support Ryan in his recovery.
If you would like to follow Ryan's Journey, follow it on Facebook here.