Hero Central: A Ride For Ryan

11:19 PM, Apr 29, 2012   |    comments
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WEST SENECA, NY- Most of us take transportation for granted. But for one West Seneca boy, getting from point A to point B is a real challenge.

"The windows as you can see are taped up. The trunk is leaking. We have no heat. We have no air conditioning. The brakes are bad on it. The tires as you can see, in the winter I don't even want to attempt to put any of my children in this car," said Joanie Murray Dolan.


But the fact of the matter is, Joanie Dolan would give anything to put her 13-year-old son Ryan in that car, but his specially made wheelchair and car seat just don't fit, so most days Ryan just stays home.


"I feel like he's not thriving right now. He needs to be out in this world, and I want to show him this world," said Joanie.


Ryan and his twin sister Taylor were born under two pounds each, Taylor without any medical problems, Ryan struggling to survive. He has hydrocephalus, cerebral palsy, had numerous brain surgeries including at least 18 revisions on his shunts.


Joanie herself a cancer survivor who's also a guardian for her own special needs brother living in her home.


"I'm a single mom trying to maintain a household and keep my kids happy and provide what I can for them, but right now I feel like I'm failing Ryan because I cannot provide a vehicle for him. We feel horrible when we have to leave him. Every time we go, it's like. Sorry," Joanie said.


"Cause he can't come with us," Taylor added.


Taylor wants her brother there cheering her on at her dance recitals and softball games. Once inseparable, a vehicle shouldn't separate them now.


"Yeah we would like to travel with him and bring him places, and show him the outdoors," said Taylor.


So Taylor and her mom entered Ryan in a contest through National Mobility Awareness which is giving away three wheelchair vans. Of the 1700 national entries, Ryan needs to finish in the top 10% to be a finalist. The contest runs through May 13th, and voters can cast on online vote on Ryan's page once a day, every day. By using the one of the following promo codes, 5 more votes will be added - 727, 744, 747, 759, 766, 823, 859, 862, 863, 869, 870, 882, 914, 927, 964, 1056, 1068.


Regardless of how he finishes the Western New York Make-A-Wish foundation promised to grant Ryan a wish. The family hopes to find a hero generous enough to donate a van, and then Make-A-Wish will do modifications to make it wheelchair accessible.


Joanie and Taylor say that hero in turn will help Ryan's health and heart.


 "I feel like I'm keeping him isolated and not exposing him to a world that he should be exposed to," said Joanie.


"I'd just like to have him happy in life and do what's best for him," Taylor said.


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