XENIA – It was the Greene Medical Foundation’s Circle of Victory (COV) Cancer Awareness Walk and the people involved that inspired Rob Ryan to accept their invitation to be this year’s COV ambassador.
The 24th annual is poised to raise more than $70,000 on Sunday, Oct. 1 at Apple Country Farm Market as the foundation and local volunteers continue the tradition of bringing survivors, families and community friends together to help Greene County residents who are living with cancer.
“Since its inception Circle of Victory has helped hundreds of people from all over Greene County with relief from the financial burden caused by cancer,” said Greene Memorial Hospital & Soin Medical Center Community Outreach Coordinator and COV Organizer Donna Saraga.
Because Ryan received help from COV it only seemed natural to get involved, too.
“The Circle of Victory is an unbelievable event,” said Ryan. “It’s that little bit of financial support that makes such a difference to those facing the bills that come with cancer treatment. The foundation is here to help and it’s amazing that we have something like this in Greene County.”
COV donations help to underwrite cancer treatment and provide assistance with medications, wigs, prostheses and other financial burdens. One hundred percent of donated funds benefit cancer patients directly.
Ryan, a Beavercreek bus driver was diagnosed with acute lymphatic leukemia in 2016. He spent time in Columbus, where he was placed in a three-year study to test cancer drugs normally given to children. And so far they are working as Rob has remained in remission after three months, and during his last check up the doctor told him everything looks great.
“There were several people in the study, but I’m the first one to make it to this point without a bone marrow transplant,” added Ryan.
His journey with cancer began when he was feeling worn out and couldn’t climb stairs easily. That was when his primary care physician at Soin Medical Center diagnosed him.
Currently away from work due to side effects from treatment – he says he misses working every day.
Ryan said, “I’m one of those people who bragged about never missing work. I never took sick days. When I got sick, it was like pulling the rug out from under me.”
Staying busy was important to Ryan and that’s when he began volunteering at Soin Medical Center.
While he had already received a grant from COV, it was there he met Greene Medical Foundation President Jeff Brock and learned more about the impact of Circle of Victory.
“We talked and he asked me to help him make a presentation to the Rotary Club on Circle of Victory and – that was it, I was involved,” said Ryan.
Ryan volunteered to drive the golf cart during the event last year and was honored when Brock asked him to be ambassador this year.
“I jumped at the chance because I really believe in this event and cause,” he said. “It’s a great feeling to support such a great fundraiser and organization.”
Ryan has been married since 1985 and he and his wife have two grown daughters. They have two grandchildren and one on the way and he enjoys spending time with them.
His advice for cancer patients in Greene County, “Just be strong. There is light at the end of the tunnel. Keep doing what doctors tell you and get in touch with Circle of Victory. It’s a God-send.”
Individuals, organizations, businesses, and churches representing a cross section of Greene County have stepped up over the years to raise nearly $350,000 to help local patients.
One of the largest components to the walk are the teams that form in honor of a family member or friend who is fighting cancer or in memory of a loved one who lost their battle.
Registration for the walk is open online www.circleofvictory.org. Walk registration is $25 until Sept. 30 and day of the event $30 on the day of the event. The farm is located at 2323 US Route 42. To volunteer or donate to the Circle of Victory in the future, contact the foundation at 937-352-2250. For more information visit www.circleofvictory.org or www.applecountryfarm.com.
Story courtesy of The Greene Medical Foundation - Greene Memorial Hospital and Soin Medical Center hospital within Kettering Health Network.