September 30, 2002 – July 9, 2008
Ryan “Batman” Williams
Ryan was born a beautiful, healthy baby. He grew into a lively, spirited young boy. A few days after his third birthday, to his family’s dismay…Ryan was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma on October 12, 2005.
Even during treatment, the little superhero enjoyed life to the fullest. While undergoing chemotherapy, radiation, surgeries, over 50 blood transfusions, infections, and many scans and admissions into Texas Children’s Hospital, Ryan still loved to wrestle, watch Adam West Batman movies, patrol the hospital halls on his batcycle and play with his sister, Hayley. Ryan made many friends at the cancer clinic, especially with the cute nurses and teenage girls. He prided himself on having many girlfriends.
The initial treatment worked and Ryan’s disease was no longer evident. Since his treatment was over and his body was no longer prone to infection, Ryan attended Pre-School. He enjoyed the “typical” boy stuff…school, swimming, family vacations, and playing on his Make-a-Wish playground.
Unfortunately, Ryan’s relapse was confirmed on October 12, 2007 (exactly 2 years from the original diagnosis). Although Ryan was back in treatment, he continued to enjoy each wonderful day he was given. He became an honorary member of the Dayton Volunteer Fire Department. He played on the Royals T-Ball team. He played Wii and built legos with his dad. He played all things superhero. He charmed his mom by calling her his “true love.” He loved freely and was loved by many. Ryan gained his angel wings on July 9, 2008. His big, beautiful smile, sweet spirit and heroic heart will be forever missed.
His complete journey starting at diagnosis is recorded in his CaringBridge Journal.
What Drives Us
The Ryan Batman Williams Foundation desires to share God’s love by raising awareness, funding pediatric cancer research and providing assistance to families with children fighting cancer.
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fighting pediatric cancers
- Every day, 43 children are diagnosed with cancer.
- 12% of children diagnosed with cancer do not survive.
- Children’s cancer affects all ethnic, gender and socio-economic groups.
- The average age of children diagnosed is six.
- More than 40,000 children undergo treatment for cancer each year.
- 60% of children who survive cancer suffer late-effects, such as infertility, heart failure and secondary cancers.
- There are approximately 375,000 adult survivors of children’s cancer in the United States. That equates to 1 in 530 adults ages 20-39.
- Neuroblastoma affects approximately 700 children a year and is most commonly found in children under the age of 5.
- Neuroblastoma is a rare cancer of the sympathetic nervous system, a nerve network that carries messages from the brain throughout the body.
- Neuroblastoma has one of the lowest survival rates of all pediatric cancers and accounts for 15% of all pediatric cancer deaths. The first symptoms are often vague and may include fatigue and loss of appetite which is why it can be hard to diagnose.
- 70% of cases at diagnosis have already spread to other areas of the body which places the cancer in a Stage 4 category.
- The 5 year survival rate for Stage 4 Neuroblastoma is 30%.
- 60% of patients with Neuroblastoma will relapse. Once in relapse, the survival rate drops to less than 5%.
- There are no known cures for relapsed Neuroblastoma.
- Neuroblastoma has one of the lowest survival rates of all pediatric cancers and accounts for 15% of all pediatric cancer deaths.
- Childhood cancer research is vastly and consistently underfunded.
- Childhood cancer is the leading cause of death by disease in children under the age of 19 in the U.S.
- One in 285 children in the U.S. will be diagnosed with cancer by the time they are 20 years old.
- Every year, an estimated 250,000+ new cases of cancer affect children under the age of 20 worldwide.
- Two-thirds of childhood cancer patients will have long lasting chronic conditions from treatment.
- Childhood cancer is not just one disease. It is made up of 12 major types and over 100 subtypes.