After all the support received during his daughter’s bout with acute myeloid leukemia, Ryan Seely is looking to give back to the organization that aims to end blood cancer
The world flipped upside down for the Seely family of Lake Oswego in December of 2014.
Eleven-year-old Anna, the oldest of Kim and Ryan Seely’s two children, was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia (AML), a form of cancer that begins in the blood-forming cells of bone marrow.
After five months of treatment, including 133 days in the hospital, Anna beat AML. Today, she’s in remission, fully recovered and living her life as a normal 14-year-old girl.
But the pain and suffering of that five-month stint — including chemotherapy, blood infections and respiratory failure — isn’t something you just get over. It’s an experience that remains with you, not only for Anna but also for her parents, who watched their child struggle to fight for her life.
Ryan Seely knows he’s lucky to still have his daughter because only about 50 percent of those diagnosed with AML survive treatment. Thankfully, survival rates are much higher in pediatric cases. Yet doctors across the United States still see about 21,380 cases of AML each year, according to the LLS, resulting in approximately 10,500 deaths.
One of the largest proponents of the fight against AML is the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, whose mission is to bring awareness to different types of blood cancers and to improve the lives of patients and their families. Support from the LLS played a huge role in Anna’s recovery, according to Ryan Seely, and now he’s looking to give back.
But the way he’s planning to do that might seem less than conventional.
Come January 2018, Ryan Seely and his friend Paul O’Hollaren will attempt to summit the tallest mountain on the continent of Africa: Tanzania’s Mt. Kilimanjaro, which stands 19,341 feet tall. The two men are…