Last year we shared the story of Beckett Ryba, the son of Mildred Ryba of the CME Group. We asked for your help raising funds for the “Run for Gus,” a 5K run/1 mile walk that supports the oncology and neurosurgery clinics at the Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. We’d like to share an update from Mildred on Beckett’s progress and encourage you once again to do anything you can to help support this worthy cause.
Matthew and Millie Ryba welcomed their son Beckett into their lives in April 2010. For the first eight months, Beckett was happy and healthy. In December, Beckett got his first cold of many colds. Just before his first birthday, Beckett underwent a procedure to have ear tubes put in to help prevent ear infections associated with his frequent colds. The surgery was successful, yet Beckett continued to get sick. His appetite was weak, he frequently vomited and he cried all the time. Their pediatrician assured Beckett’s parents that he was suffering from common childhood ailments and that his constant crying was a result of being overtired. But the Rybas suspected there was more to it. When Beckett’s lethargy increased and one of his eyes began to cross, Millie took her son to the ER at Children’s Memorial, now Lurie Children’s.
A CT scan at the hospital revealed a mass the size of a baseball in the 13-month-old son’s head. After several agonizing days, they learned that the tumor, though large, was benign and not affecting any life-critical functions. The Rybas now knew what had been ailing their son and, more importantly, they knew how to help him.
It has been two years since Beckett was first diagnosed. During that time, he has undergone three surgeries, 183 physical therapy sessions, 58 doses of chemotherapy and 28 radiological scans. At the time of his diagnosis, Beckett couldn’t crawl or eat and was in constant pain. Today, thanks to what Beckett’s mom refers to as his “A-Team” of doctors, nurses and therapists, Beckett is doing much better though is still in treatment. Nearly three years old, Beckett loves soccer, trains, playing with his dog Jaxee and recently started preschool.
His mom says that to look at Beckett, you would never know what he has endured. “Beckett just loves being alive,”says Millie. “I cannot wait to meet the big brother, teenager and young man he is meant to be!”