It was on my secondary three trip to Greece where Mr. Sean Ryan sat me down on an obscure island in the Mediterranean and told me four words that no other teacher has really communicated to me quite like he had: “you’ll do great things”. Four simple words that have permanently etched themselves into my brain. That have motivated me since I was 14 years of age. And that have guided me to become who I am today.
On November 15th, Sean Ryan was diagnosed with stage 4 glioblastoma multiforme, which is an extremely difficult to reach and aggressive brain tumour. Upon hearing the news from my friend, my heart sank. I was immediately back on that island listening to one of the wisest and kindest teachers I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. Mr. Ryan is by far one of the best English or Cinema teacher’s Loyola High School has ever produced. Going down to Mr. Ryan’s classroom at lunch to blast music on his speakers and try some of his homemade fudge was some of the greatest memories I will ever take from my high school experience. I remember at the beginning of each year, the students would receive their schedules. We’d all brag about having Mr. Ryan to the kids who didn’t, because we knew the year was about to be legendary.
Sean Ryan, his wife Nathalie, were shocked to hear that what they believed were symptoms from a concussion he had suffered a couple months prior ended up being a devastating stage-four brain tumour with limited prospects. The family has thankfully not given up hope, and are continuing to fight. The Loyola community that has raised me has not shielded in showing their support and efforts to their cause. In under two days, their GoFundMe, started with the purpose of looking for treatment methods elsewhere, and reached their goal of $100,000. The page is currently sitting at just under $148,000.
Sean Ryan has given me the confidence and knowledge to become the man I am today. As I look back on the lessons bestowed onto me when we sat on that island off the coast of Greece I am destroyed but thankful for the privilege of being able to know him. Not only was he my teacher, but he was my friend. I urge anyone reading this to donate to Nathalie and Sean’s cause on their GoFundMe, and help save such a positive, loving and intelligent mentor. We love you, Mr. Ryan.
By: Andrew Pinck – firstname.lastname@example.org