Editor’s Note: For those who don’t know Ryan, he is the guy getting us ramped up for every home game as the Seahawks mascot, Blitz. Please read on for his story and donate to his cause if you can.
“Hi Ryan, the results of your brain scan came in and we’d like to discuss the results with you in person.” I think I blacked out for the rest of the conversation but the nurse said something along the lines of it being important for me to come in today and that they had cleared time on the doctor’s schedule if I could make it work. Of course I could make it work.
Multiple Sclerosis, a degenerative neurological disease, directly affects more people in Washington than anywhere else in the US. That afternoon I learned I was part of that statistic. My mom thought I was dying. For those of you that know my mom, you know she is one of the most loving human beings on the planet. It hurt me more trying to comprehend her pain than to find out I had MS. It was hard on my whole family, but with the encouraging words of my dad, the compassion of my mom, and my brother moving out to Seattle to be with me, they have made it easier.
I know exactly what Lou Gehrig meant when he said he felt like one of the luckiest people in the world. I have an incredible life. In the past few years, I have been to Africa, Europe and South America, shared a stage with Steve Ballmer, been skydiving with Red Bull, and jumped off the roof of Qwest Field to the sound of 67,000 screaming fans.
As most of you know, I spend my days working at Microsoft and most of my other time running around as the mascot for the Seattle Seahawks. Every year I go to numerous walks, runs and charity events for different causes and diseases dressed as Blitz. I had been to Walk MS before, but it only registered as “another walk” to me. But last year it was different, and this year, I am starting my own team. Team Blitz.
The Seahawks have been an unbelievably supportive organization and I will be doing the entire walk dressed as Blitz, the mascot. With the support of the Seahawks and using the mascot as a vehicle for fundraising, I’ve been given the unique opportunity to raise money for a cause that’s important to me and millions of others. I’ve set two goals for Team Blitz this year. The first is to raise $100,000. The second is to win the Rookie Team of the Year award. Lofty? Maybe. Achievable? Most definitely!
If you are getting this email, it means we are somehow connected and I would love to have you involved. I understand you may not have the time or be able to help financially however just by reading this message, you have already helped. If you want to actively get involved, I’ve outlined a few things you can do, any of which, that would mean the world to me.
- Donate money. Help raise money to find a cure and donate on my team site. Click here (Don’t forget to check and see if your company matches donations – I can answer questions about matching, especially for Microsoft)
- Walk on Team Blitz. Even if you can’t raise money, if you are local to Seattle, on April 11th, walk with me. Mark it on your calendar!
- Forward this email to someone, or everyone. Sometimes an email is all people need to find a cause they want to support. I know I left people out, so please pass it on.
- Post a message on Facebook to help raise money and awareness. You can use www.BlitzTacklesMS.com
- Watch a 6 minute mini-documentary my brother created on the walk – Click here
- Ask questions. It’s totally okay.
Multiple Sclerosis (MS) affects people differently over time. I’m in the early stages and have 3 lesions on my brain, not a day goes by that I don’t notice how it affects my body. It’s slight now and overall, I’m doing well, but many people are not. They struggle with fatigue, they struggle to walk, they struggle with depression, they struggle with life. Help me. Help me inspire hope and remind millions of people that no disease can ever hold us down. Join me.
Approximately 100 times a year, groups and organizations ask me to dress up as Blitz. On April 11th, I ask you to walk for me, so that I can continue to run for you.
www.BlitzTacklesMS.com – Team Page
www.BlitzTacklesMS.com/ryan – Personal Page