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Strength in Numbers

Aug 02, 2018 10:32AM

Strength in Numbers

A Letter of Thanks from Ryan Joseph’s Family


Dear Falcon Family –

We are not even sure how to begin other than to say how much the Joseph family has appreciated your love and support. I know we would not be where we are today without it. Many of you have been following Ryan’s progress and know that he had a level C-4/C-5 spinal cord injury that left him paralyzed from the chest down at his initial diagnosis. He left John Muir Hospital in Walnut Creek and went directly to Craig Hospital in Denver, a rehabilitation hospital that exclusively specializes in patients with spinal cord injuries (SCI). He has made extraordinary progress and can now breathe on his own, with movement and sensation in almost all of his body, including arms, legs, some fingers, legs and toes, and his elusive triceps just made an appearance. That said, we have been told it could take up to a year or more before we have an idea of how much may return, so there is still a lot of recovery possibilities left! We plan to stay in Denver this summer to take advantage of more rehab. Thank You Falcons!

Throughout our journey we have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and support from all of you. With every step, we feel like you have been behind us to help us navigate this unknown territory, and we are so lucky. Some incredible people have organized, assisted, and kept our spirits up during this time.

Jim Keck, Athletic Director – Coach Keck has been with us since the time of the accident, lending his support, organization, fundraising and media coordination skills in Ryan’s recovery. We are not sure when he sleeps, but he has continued to reach out and send his support to our entire family. The photos and Skype from school events/games/tournaments and epic selfies have boosted us all when things got crazy. What an amazing person; we are lucky to have such a role model at our school and as part of the extended Joseph family, because that is what he has become to us.

Falcons Booster Club & President Jeff Eide – What a group and what a leader! Organizing fundraisers, meals, assistance with demolition at our home, and probably more than we will ever know, the Boosters and Jeff were there. Recently, a check in the amount of $55,000 raised by the Boosters was sent to us – we were speechless and very grateful. We know how much energy goes into organizing and executing events and fundraisers and cannot thank you enough.

College Park Wrestling – Ryan’s team never left his side. Texts, cards, and care packages flooded our mailbox. Hunter Cantrell and the team set up a Go Fund Me site for Ryan on the very first day all on their own that continues to fund many of our expenses. The coaching staff has exchanged more messages with us than I can count, keeping Ryan’s spirits up. As a side note, one of the packages sent included a blanket that kept Ryan wrapped and comfortable throughout therapy. (At one point, he had a really hard time controlling his temperature, and that blanket kept the edge off the shivers).

College Park Lacrosse – Again, Ryan’s teammates stepped up. This time they provided much needed manpower to the demolition process at our home. They moved rocks and a shed and packed things for us so that we could move forward with the accessible improvements to our home. We were also flooded with photos and well wishes that fueled recovery. Coach Ledin designed the Ryan Strong Logo that represents Ryan perfectly. A special visit from teammate Jake Eide was a highlight this spring when he came to visit while on a trip to Colorado. 

Falcon Students, Staff and Administrators – Talk about “Strength in Numbers”! We have that and more! Thank you for the cards, texts, e-mails, packages, photos, and updates! They all boosted our spirits. We were very lucky to have visits in person at Craig Hospital from the Turner Family (Caroline, Cindy & Paul) and the Stephens Family (Sadie & Mike). So many of you made donations to Ryan’s Go Fund Me account that it is staggering. Many others have sent checks and cash to add to the account to cover expenses. There was a record turnout for the “Ride for Ryan” pasta feed fundraiser that many of you attended and contributed to. We understand that student Danny Romo even went door to door in his neighborhood to collect donations. Principal Alvarez and staff have reached out on several occasions to make sure that Ryan is doing well and to make sure that his academic needs are taken care of. 

The outpouring of love and generosity from the Falcon Community is of such a magnitude that one would never experience something like this in a lifetime. It is incredible to be on the receiving end of such kindness. We are hoping that Ryan continues to make progress towards “Plan A” this summer, which is walking out of the hospital. We still have a long way to go, but we are hopeful, strong and moving forward with all of your help. 

We are excited to see all of you soon!

The Joseph Family
Ryan, Tom, Kristin & Haley