Saturday, September 8, 2018 - 8:15 am


Ryan Smida

Proceeds from the 2010 Charleroi Little Great Race went to Ryan Smida.

Our son Ryan is 20 years old and is the middle child of 5 children. He has Downs Syndrome and has been attending The St. Anthony Schools Program since he was 4, first at the St. Thomas More site, then the Serra Catholic site, and is currently at the Duquesne University site. He is active in Special Olympic bowling and basketball, and takes dance class at Feel The Rhythm Dance School in Monessen.

In February of 2008 Ryan was diagnosed with blood cancer-Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia (ALL). He went through rigorous induction chemotherapy that spring and obtained remission by summer. He was then started on his maintenance chemo and remained cancer free for a little over a year. Then in August 2009, the leukemia returned in his central nervous system. He again started rigorous chemotherapy. He got pneumonia that turned into ARDS (adult respiratory distress syndrome) and was life flighted from Mon Valley Hospital to Shadyside Medical ICU where he remained on mechanical ventilation for a month. He came home in time for Thanksgiving, but then over Christmas he had another bout of pneumonia, a bowel infection and a blood clot in his leg that landed him in Mon Valley Hospital for another month. He was able to finish the course of chemo and is currently in remission and on maintenance chemo. The doctors say that he is at high risk for the cancer to reoccur but right now we are just thanking God for every morning that he wakes up and says "I feel good today".

~ Mark and Linda Smida and family

© 2018 Charleroi Little Great Race