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RTG and Ronnie Osmer - Help Devan Move Forward
$12,511 raised
100% of $12.5k goal
599 contributors
0 days left
Ended Dec 12, 2014

'Tis the season for giving and Ride to Give wants to give back to a very special mother and son. This weekend our own Ronnie Osmer is racing in the biggest event of his season, the Allen Turner Hyundai Snowflake 100. For the past year this amazing 14 year old has raced his car on behalf of Ride to Give donating time and funds to our causes. Because this final race is so important, we asked if there was someone special he would suggest as a cause. Ronnie and his mother Cindy were overwhelmed and excited to tell us about sweet 8 year old Devan...

Devan Lee Young was born on June 29th, 2007 to Stephanie and Jeremy Young. He started showing signs of Nystagmus (shaking of the eyeballs) in both eyes, at 6 months old. Devan's pediatrician referred his parents to a Neuro-Opthalmologist in New Orleans who  diagnosed Devan with an Optic Nerve Glioma on his chiasma, the part of the brain where the optic nerves partially cross. Devan's tumor was inoperable because of its location on the optic nerve.

Tumors of this type are typically low grade and slow growing but Devan’s tumor grew significantly in the first month after being diagnosed in February of 2008. He started chemo at 8 months to prevent vision damage and continued treatment in cycles for the next 4 years. The tumor always became active again. In 2012 Devan started his third round of chemotherapy once a week for 52 weeks and finished on January 21, 2014.

Three months after finishing chemo Devan’s MRI showed the tumor had become active and had grown again. Devan was referred to St. Jude in Memphis where both the oncologist and radiologist recommended proton radiation as an alternative to chemo. Since the tumor had grown back and was destroying his vision they decided to treat the tumor aggressively to preserve Devan's vision.

During this time, Devan’s father Jeremy passed away suddenly. Though devestated, Stephanie still needed to move forward with Devan’s treatment. She had to resign from a teaching position she loved to get him ready for his next round of treatments. In August Devan and Stephanie moved to Jacksonville, FL for 2 months to receive treatment at the University of Florida Proton Therapy Institute. They have since moved in with Stephanie's parents because being in their house after Jeremy's untimely death was just too heartbreaking.

The good news is for now Devan’s tumor seems stable and there is no swelling from the radiation. In early spring, Devan and Stephanie will return to Florida for a follow up set of scans. Devan does suffer with frequent headaches and Neuropathy from years of chemotherapy, and both mother and son see a grief counselor once a week to help manage their loss.

Because Stephanie has been out of work for over 6 months, the bills have piled up and the prospect of the return trip to Florida is looming. Over all, 2014 has not been easy for them.

Ride to Give and Ronnie Osmer Racing are eager to help ease the financial burden for Stephanie, help with therapy costs, and cover their next trip to Florida. Please join us in helping Devan and his mom Stephanie move forward!

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