Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Post 3rd Annual Ryan's Ride

Dear 2006 Ryan’s Ride Parents:
Our 3rd Annual Ryan Phua Memorial Kids’ Ride, part of the 20th Annual Burlingame Criterium was a huge splash. We had 609 energetic children champions at the event and collected over $16,000 on that day. Through individual pledges and corporate sponsorships, we have so far raised over $52,000 this year and a cumulative amount of $180,000 since the inception of Ryan’s Ride three years ago. Thank you for bringing your children to be part of Ryan’s Ride.
Many children had gotten into the spirit of raising pledges. It was extremely rewarding to see children with “shaky” handwriting summarizing their pledges on their pledge forms. The winner for each category is announced on our website. In addition, professional photographs are available for purchase. For more info, visit www.ryansride.org.

We have created a slideshow that captures the spirit of this year’s Ryan’s Ride. We hope you have a moment to watch it:

As we anticipate Ryan’s 3rd anniversary on July 8th, I personally hope the success of Ryan’s Ride will give our family strength to acknowledge Ryan’s life purpose despite his physical absence. This time is always trying and bittersweet. Thank you again for honoring our little boy’s short life through Ryan’s Ride. I know Ryan feels like a champion watching the smiles of our 609 junior champs…..The parents’ love to their little boy never fades…..

Thursday, June 1, 2006

3rd Annual Ryan's Ride Request

As Ryan’s 3rd year anniversary is approaching on July 8th, we are putting much of our energy in planning the 3rd annual Ryan’s Ride in his memory. Ryan’s Ride will be on Sunday, June 25.

Life does not always give us a choice so we learn to continue to enrich the one life we have. Life is a gift because in a moment’s time, it can evaporate.

What I am about to write is my opportunity to share with you my journey openly. My voice is honest. Three years have flown by. We have adjusted to our new journey and make the best of it. John had concluded with his support group and believed that he is now used to navigate solo. As for me, I couldn’t let go of the support. The third year in grief it seems like I have less courage. I now found every excuse not to visit Ryan’s resting place. I just couldn’t stand in front of the spot because Ryan lives inside our family everyday. He has become parts that lies within us….our breathe, our experience. I really want to protect myself by preventing myself to visit that “emotional” state – the ground zero. But yet we still find the need to travel there as this is truly where Ryan resides. When we park our emotions there, we feel pain because it hurts not to have Ryan with us no matter how long it has been. At times, I am puzzled why the courage and strength that I had in the first 2 years have depreciated. But I realized that it is my protective mechanism for survival…and to stay what we considered “normal” in society.

John has offered to purchase the “marker” on his own. That purchase will reinforce the finality of our son’s death, I assume.

Matthew is now almost five and a half. He is articulate, delightful, sensitive and expressive. He is finishing up preschool and will attend kindergarten in the fall. He loves numbers, socializing with friends, riding his bike and being silly. Matthew and John have developed an amazing bond. Matthew knows that there are many things that Dad can do more than Mom. They are pals on the weekend. I feel lucky for Matthew to have John as a father. As for me, I feel my “calm” when I know I am spending my life with John.

Ryan is very much interwoven in Matthew’s life. He brought up Ryan on his own terms so much more this year than in the past. He shares with others that he has a brother. Sometimes, he will say Ryan is his younger brother because he is only two and a half and Matthew is five. He will get up each morning spinning on his new 2 wheels set on a stationary to get ready for Ryan’s Ride.

Bill, a dear friend for the 2nd year in a row, designed the art illustration for Ryan’s Ride and incorporated Matthew in the artwork and Ryan’s shadow riding behind Matthew. His illustration solidifies and reminds me the purpose of Ryan's Ride. John and I are in awe that he could design from his heart and he is able to unlock our heartfelt emotions through his art. It is powerful as if he can speak on our behalf. What a gift of friendship. No words are enough to express our gratitude to Bill.

Our other pillars for Ryan’s Ride who volunteer year after year in an intense mode include Julie for public relation and Ivania for graphic design. On the day of the event, we hope to recruit 200 volunteers, many of whom have been so committed to help us honor Ryan. We thank you sincerely.

As we are starting our fundraising in full launch, we hope you can support us in celebrating Ryan’s life by making a donation to Ryan’s Fund at the Lance Armstrong Foundation to support cancer programs in the Bay Area. Through Ryan’s legacy, we hope the funds we raised will help many families in many big and small ways. We hope you can help to make a difference by joining us to make an impact.

Checks should be made payable to:

LAF/Ryan Phua Memorial Fund
205 De Anza Blvd, #135
San Mateo, CA 94402

For those whose children will participate in the upcoming Ryan’s Ride, we look forward to having them join Ryan’s Peloton.