Runner Finds Another Way to Support the Hospital That Healed Him
August 31, 2017 by Alissa Hazlett
Ryan Roush has crossed a lot of finish lines in his life, though not all of them have been on a race course.
When he was 6, Ryan finished treatment and achieved remission from acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) which he had been battling with the team at Akron Children’s Hospital for three years.
“Since that time I have been trying to give back to the hospital that gave me so much,” said Ryan.
Ryan has been a runner since middle school so combining running with his desire to give back to Akron Children’s was the perfect fit. In 2011, the Canfield native organized a 5K road race at the Canfield Fairgrounds for his high school senior project and raised $3,000 to benefit Akron Children’s.
“I received such strong local support,” Ryan said. “My parents also supported me tremendously in the project and it was because of them that it went off smoothly.”
Last year, he ran his first half marathon during the Akron Children’s Hospital Akron Marathon, Half Marathon & Team Relay presented by FirstEnergy and finished second with a time of 1:08:10.
“Placing second last year in the half marathon was a good experience for me as my first time competing at that distance,” Ryan said. “I was looking for anything in the top three during the race and so to be so close to the first position was bittersweet.”
This year, in addition to returning to the Blue Line, Ryan signed up to raise money for Akron Children’s as a Children’s Champion.
“Akron Children’s Hospital cured me of my childhood cancer and gave me the opportunity to lead a fulfilling life,” said Ryan. “The Children’s Champion program aids the hospital in its mission to provide the same level of care to all of their patients with the goal of providing outcomes like mine to children who deserve them.”
Ryan is taking a unique approach to asking for support for his Children’s Champion campaign.
“To raise the minimum $1,000, I’m asking local individuals and companies to help me by pledging to donate 1, 5, 10, 15, or 50 cents for every mile that I run between the date they commit until September 17,” he said. “Right now, I have more than $1,800 in pledges.”
Ryan even partnered with Malone University’s Track and Field team, his alma mater, to create a running shirt featuring his sponsors.
“The Children’s Champion’s program has given me another outlet to aid the hospital that holds a special place in my heart,” said Ryan.