Jonathan and Holly Cottor learned their youngest son, Ryan, was not just a “late bloomer,” but was born with Spinal Muscular Atrophy. When Ryan was initially diagnosed at eight months old, there was no treatment for SMA and they were told that 80 percent of children diagnosed before their first birthday would likely not survive to their second birthday.
“We were told to take Ryan home and enjoy the time we had with him,” said Jonathan. “We felt devastated, shocked, and anxious about what the days or months ahead would bring.”
“We felt as though we’d hit a wall both physically and emotionally,” Holly said.
“From opening in March 2010 through Ryan’s death at Ryan House in December 2018, Ryan House has been not only a dream come true for our family, but for the over 4,000 children diagnosed with life-threatening conditions in Maricopa County,” said Holly.
Ryan is not only the Ryan of Ryan House, but was a frequent visitor who always looked forward to his next stay so he could play games with friends and be spoiled by every member of the Ryan House team!
“Each respite stay at Ryan House was filled with life and living,” explained Ryan’s mom. “He loved ‘soccey’ – a cross between soccer and hockey – up and down the halls, safe pranks, cooking or baking with volunteers, and even a “fry fest” one stay to incorporate State Fair favorites into meals. “Ryan House will forever hold a most special place in our hearts… like an extension of family and a second home.”