Ohio 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, at home after spending more than 100 nights at Nationwide Children’s Hospital fighting cancer.

To get through 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.” For every pair purchased, the nonprofit donates a pair of the winning sock design to the Children’s Hospital.

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

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

In November 2020, Adam and his wife Brett thought Ryan should just get her eyes checked after she squinted a lot.

“The ophthalmologist that we had … saw when her eyes opened that there was increased swelling or something around her optic nerve and he just encouraged us to go to the 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 began chemotherapy just after Christmas.

“We were thrown in… terrifying and we had to become kind of an oncologist overnight,” Adam said.

While Ryan spent months in the hospital, she tinkered with her brother, AJ via FaceTime.

“I think Brett and I would text each other every night and say we were through another day,” Adam said.

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

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

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

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

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

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