Published: Monash Leader | 31 October 2017 | Story by: Suzan Delibasic
The pain in Ryder’s little body was so excruciating that he was forced to take painkillers everyday.
Three months ago, Ryder, 3, was struck with virus-like symptoms and leg pain for more than five weeks. In that time, his parents took him to the doctors where he was diagnosed with a virus, a knee injury and later viral arthritis on different occasions. Ryder was taking Nurofen or Panadol every five to six hours and was unable to sleep due to debilitating pain. After several tests and doctor’s appointments, he had an ultrasound which showed a tumour on his adrenal gland.
After undergoing a biopsy, bone marrow sample and bone sample, doctors confirmed the devastating news to his parents, confirming that he had stage 4 neuroblastoma.
Ryder’s father, Jarrad Grace, who works as Clayton Hotel’s general manager, said his son was showing huge improvements since he started chemo. He said his son’s will to fight was inspirational. “Ryder has changed my life and he has given me a new lease on life,” he said. Mr Grace said he was proud of his son’s resilience. “He’s been in a lot of pain but he still continues to stay positive,” he said.
Ryder has a good heart and we’re so proud of him. Thank you to everyone who has supported our family during this time.
“He’s got a fantastic attitude and continues to stay in good spirits despite what he’s going through.” Mr Grace said his family had learned to cope with their son’s illness. “Something like this can really change your life and you learn to have a different perspective,” he said. Mr Grace said he was grateful for the support people had shown his family since Ryder was diagnosed.
“Ryder’s mother and I are very grateful to everyone in the community who continues to support our family,’’ he said. “I’m so thankful to my fiance Antonella who has supported me.’’
Mr Grace said his goal was to raise $100,000 for the Royal Children’s Hospital.
“I’ve always been active in promoting charities and the Royal Children’s Hospital do so much for sick children in our community,” he said. He has planned a Parma Month at The Clayton Hotel in November to raise money for the hospital. “$2 from every parma sold in November will be donated to the Good Friday Appeal to help sick children,” he said.
Mr Grace said he was unsure of what the future would bring but remained positive throughout Ryder’s treatment. “It’s important to talk to other parents who have been in a similar situation and accept people’s help. Ryder has a good heart and we’re so proud of him.
“Thank you to everyone who has supported our family during this time,” he said.
For more details
- View Ryder’s Good Friday Appeal fundraising page: fundraise.goodfridayappeal.com.au/event/ourlittlesuperhero
- Listen to Ryder’s story with Neil Mitchell
- View the article in the Monash Leader