3-year-old creates sock design, fights and beats cancer

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH)–A Central Ohio family is happy to have their 3-year-old daughter, Ryan Ravestein, home after spending over 100 nights at Nationwide Children’s hospital battling cancer.

To help pass the long hours in her hospital room, Ryan and her brother, AJ designed a pair of socks in a special competition with other pediatric patients across the country through “Resilience Gives.” The non-profit donates a pair of the winning sock design to the children’s hospital for every pair purchased.

On Father’s Day weekend, Ryan got the chance to ring the bell at Nationwide Children’s Hospital to celebrate her end of cancer treatments.

“Incredible, absolutely, I mean it wasn’t easy, but she was the toughest little girl we could have ever imagined,” said Adam Ravestein, Ryan’s father.

In November of 2020, Adam and his wife, Brett thought Ryan simply needed her eyes checked after she was squinting a lot.

“The ophthalmologist that we had… upon dilating her eyes just saw that there was elevated swelling or something around her optic nerve and he just encouraged us to go to Children’s (hospital) right away,” said Brett Ravestein, Ryan’s mother.

“They found a tumor in her brain that was the size of a baseball,” Brett added.

Ryan underwent a craniotomy to remove the tumor and started chemotherapy just after Christmas.

“We were thrown into it…terrifying and we had to become kind of oncologists overnight,” said Adam.

While spending months in the hospital, Ryan would do crafts with her brother, AJ through Facetime.

“I think every night Brett and I would text each other and say we got through it, one more day,” said Adam.

A child life specialist at Nationwide Children’s thought Ryan and her brother should design a sock for the “Resilience Gives’ sock competition. Ryan and AJ designed “Dancing Bananas.”

“They kept following up with us and following Ryan’s story and writing us messages, so we just really valued them as this really cool organization,” said Adam.

Now, Ryan and AJ hope they can earn enough votes to win the competition to see their design turn into real socks for pediatric patients across the country.

“Support that organization and just all kids going through pediatric cancer,” said Brett.

If you’d like to help Ryan and AJ, you can vote for “Dancing Bananas” here: https://www.resilience.gives/pages/hospital-sock-contest

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