Ryan Kennington - In Our Hearts & Prayers
The picture above is the memoriam sticker that his team will be wearing to support Ryan as he battles through this difficult chapter in his life. All of us at LVU wish Ryan a speedy recovery and the best of luck, and will keep him in our hearts and prayers as he moves forward on the road to recovery. Get well soon Ryan!
Ryan Kennington has played soccer since he was 5 years old, first with the St. Thomas More travel team, the Vision Training Soccer Academy and most recently with the Lehigh Valley United 96 Gold team and Coach Fernando Carrizo. He loved playing with the 96 Gold team and after accumulating many silver medals with the high school team and with the 96 Gold team was so happy to win gold in the last 2 tournaments of their club season last year. Ryan has always had a passion for playing soccer, most especially at midfield. He greatly admired the play of Xavi and most recently is keeping an eye on Mix Diskarud with the US National team.
In June after playing a pickup game of soccer, Ryan thought he had a groin pull in his right hip. After rest, x-ray, physical therapy then an MRI he was originally diagnosed with PVNS (pigmented villanodular synovium) in his right hip and needed arthroscopic surgery to have it removed. Sept 2 he had arthroscopic surgery to remove the synovium. 3 weeks after surgery we received a phone call that we needed to see an orthopedic oncologist. So after being in constant pain for 7 weeks, we finally received a diagnosis of Ryan's hip condition on Sept 25. It turns out he did NOT have PVNS. He has cancer. It is Osteosarcoma and it is a childhood cancer of the bones. Only about 1000 people in the US are diagnosed with it each year. It affects primarily adolescents and boys more than girls. The cancer is in his right femur and the surrounding soft tissue of the hip joint.
Ryan is on 3 different chemo drugs. He will have 6 intense cycles of chemo over a 6-9 month time frame, and has completed 2 cycles already. On Tuesday, Jan 6, Ryan will have major surgery at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. The surgery will last 12 or more hours and remove part of his femur, the hip joint, all of the tumor and a little bit of the pelvic bone. They will go in with the goal to remove all the cancer and then rebuild his hip. Soccer has been a passion for Ryan since he was 5 years old. He really loves to play the game and his parents loved watching him play. Ryan will probably not be able to play soccer, run or jump, but he will be able to walk and keep his leg.
Ryan Kennington is an 18 year old student at Salisbury High School. He is a member of the National Honor Society, the FBLA and the Salisbury varsity soccer team. This should be his senior year in high school, but he is taking this year off and will have his Senior year next year. Ryan just recently earned his Boy Scout Eagle badge. For his Eagle project he collected cleats, soccer balls, shin guards and other soccer gear for the Allentown Youth Soccer Association.
While this is undoubtedly the hardest thing our family has ever faced we are also feeling positive and want to approach this with as much positive mental energy as we can. Ryan has been an inspiration to all of us with his strength, courage, hope and positive spirit. We are also extremely thankful for our family and friends who have been so supportive and helpful as we go through this journey, they are truly a blessing in our lives, and a simple thank you will never be enough.
-Linda and Bill Kennington