December 30 2015

Race to 1000: IWK Stories - Ryan's Story

By Portland Street Honda

Race to 1000: IWK Stories - Ryan's Story

In April of 2014, Tara Foran discovered that her son Ryan had severe Crohn's and would undergo emergency surgery at the IWK Health Center.

“It was scary, obviously. “ Said Tara, Executive Assistant at Portland Street Honda. “I could tell (the IWK staff) was doing everything they could, to ensure Ryan was comfortable and able to begin to feel better.”

After his surgery, Ryan spent seven weeks at the IWK Health Center, where a team of doctors, nurses, and other specialized staff worked to treat his Crohn's and help him to adapt to his new routines.

“The hospital itself is amazing. They do everything for the kids, but they also do for the parents a well. There is frequently someone coming in to check that you have everything you need, that you are mentally sound. You are assigned a social worker; they come in to make sure the kids are doing ok and that they feel comfortable at the hospital.

Tara says that the independence was one thing that helped Ryan to begin to feel better. “The comfort level was important. Knowing that he could help himself to warm blankets, that he could explore the hospital, take games from the games room; they are all things that made him feel like life was getting back to normal.”

That sense of normalcy is also extended outside the initial hospital stay. “They had a specialist come in and explain everything to him about his feeding tube and all the different parts of his treatment. When it came time for (Ryan) to go back to school he was able to stand in front of the class, explain everything that was going on, he answered a few questions and then that was it, he just sat down and went back to feeling like a normal kid.”

“It is the little things,”  says Tara. “The garden there is my favorite place. When (Ryan) first got sick, it was hard emotionally, it was draining. I would just sit out there in the mornings while he was asleep, and it was just peaceful and beautiful. It is definitely a little extra, and you wouldn’t really think of it when you imagine hospital care, but it is so important.”  

Tara’s experience with the IWK has, perhaps not surprisingly, enforced the importance of the race to 1000. “The race to 1000 is amazing. (the IWK) has so many resources that go into the care of every kid.They obviously need equipment, but they also need  things to keep the kids entertained while they are at the lowest of the low. They even have teachers that come in to help kids stay up to date with their schoolwork when they are in the hospital for long periods. They can afford to have people who specialize, which makes a big difference in the range of care they can provide.”

“Every little bit helps. I am proud to work for a company that supports the IWK in the way Portland Street Honda does. When I go in with Ryan, the nurses all talk about (the Race to 1000).They think it’s great!”

The IWK is a vitally important part of our community. We would like to thank everyone for their ongoing support of our “Race to 1000” and welcome you to share your own  IWK stories with us at


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