by Kaete Nazaroff, Ride to Give
There are some causes that haunt me. Of course I care deeply about all the families we help, but some get stuck in my mind and I think of them throughout the day as often as I think of my own children. I find myself looking at my phone in the middle of the night when I get up to change my son, just to make sure nothing horrible has happened since I last checked their updates. It was like that with Tripp Halstead, and the fire that started in my heart after reading Stacy’s posts is what led me to convince Dave to ride to Georgia. From that, the Ride to Give was born.
I had that same gut feeling when I read Ken Diviney’s blog. Ken is the father of Ryan Diviney, who at 20 suffered a traumatic brain injury when he was sucker punched, then kicked in the head near the campus of West Virginia University. For 4 years Ken has cared for Ryan night and day, while he remains in a vegetative state, or “open eyes” coma. Some of you remember I’ve mentioned Ken’s blog on our page before. The writing is so loving and heartfelt, sometimes humorous, and sometimes so tragic it makes my stomach swim. Ryan was so beautiful, a light to his family, with the whole world in front of him. How could this happen? Why? Just like the freak tree branch that injured Tripp, this random act of violence came out of nowhere, and could happen to any of us, or our kids, at any time.Because we are a new charity, Ride to Give has and will continue focusing on children who are ill. You say, “But Ryan is an adult,” and I say, “No, not really”. Ryan was an adult up until the second his assailant kicked him in the head and left him for dead. At that moment he became a child again, a baby really, who needs around the clock care. He is catheterized, fed with a tube, given medications, exercised, turned, rubbed, and loved by his family, all without the ability to respond to any of it. His needs are endless, and insurance doesn’t begin to cover it all.
Ryan’s dad, Ken, has chosen to not leave his son’s side. He has chosen to be his full-time care giver, and it is a hell of a job. No matter how hopeful he is that Ryan’s condition might change, I know the daily reality and exhaustion has to roll over him sometimes like a huge crashing wave. But he can’t drown. He must keep going…for Ryan.
I believe in God, and I believe he has a plan for us all. But this one stumps me, and I find myself dwelling on “why did this happen?”
Well now I’m saying, “What can we do?”
Please help us ease the Diviney family’s burden at least financially. We can’t do much more than pray, and give what we can to take away some worry, at least for a while. Ryan’s family spends at least $11,000 a year on items for Ryan’s care that are not covered or obtained by insurance, and we want to help with that. Thank you for your contribution!