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  • Writer's pictureTerri Tomoff

It's Been 26 Years...

And I Thank You!

Exactly 26 years ago, the minute I wrote this post (7:55 am), my kids were waking up in our Croton, Maryland, rental home. Ryan was not feeling too well and woke up with a slight fever. I called Bill on his way to work to report on my findings, and he calmly suggested making a doc appointment to rule out another “ear infection.”

Within the hour, I made the appointment for 1:00 pm. Our morning routine continued, and everything seemed well (enough) for me. It would be a few more hours before the sledgehammer came down on my head to forever change all our lives with Ryan’s original leukemia diagnosis.

Today, I am at peace with recalling all that detail I held dearly for many years. It is this way because I had the chance to free my mind by spilling every single detail of 10/17/1996 while writing The Focused Fight. And even though I started writing the book in 2016, it wasn’t until I joined WIC that everything started crystallizing. By golly, I wrote and wrote and finally stopped when I had enough content and realized I had something to share — hope and inspiration!

My goal, like when the student is ready, the teacher will appear, is to help One-Person/One-Family at a time through the written words recorded in the book. I already know in the year and a half that it’s been published; it is doing just that, and I am very grateful!

As I wrap up today’s post, reflecting on Ryan’s and our family’s unwavering resilience since that quiet morning 26 years ago, I also learned these moments never leave me.

Frankly, we couldn’t have done what we did but for the ARMY of helpers: doctors, nurses, medical staff, social workers, art therapists, the plethora of foundations helping families like mine, Ryan's Bone Marrow Donor, Scott Harris, neighbors, friends, and family, and like I say, from the doctors to the dog walkers over the last two and a half decades plus!

We will celebrate this milestone with dinner sometime this week. Today, we will celebrate with Art Therapist Tracy Councill as she receives her prestigious award at the DAR Building in Washington, DC. It’s a fitting tribute to a day that will live in infamy for my family and me.

A massive shout of THANKS to ALL - all the help bestowed on us through the years is so we can celebrate today and many more days ahead.



The photo of Ryan and Bill is within days of his diagnosis on 10/17/1996.


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