My little brother, Ryan, is twelve and a half years old. He is one of the sweetest kids you'll ever meet. He's always trying to connect with people, and he loves to make people laugh. He loves video games and his favorite superhero has been the Hulk ever since he found out what the Hulk was at 3 or 4. He's always got a twinkle in his eyes, whether it's out of mischief because he's trying to pull a prank on somebody, or whether it's just because he's happy to be alive.

Ryan and I have had quite the bond ever since he was born; we've got a better relationship than most siblings ever do. When he was a baby, he had acid reflux and I was one of two or three people who could get him to stop crying even though I was barely strong enough to hold him. When he was a chubby little three- or four-year-old, I'd always take him outside to play with me and my friends, or to go see his little friends (even though sometimes I didn't want to). Despite our 7 1/2 year age difference, we've been really close. I adore my little brother, and it kills me to live so far away from him; Utah to Georgia is quite the distance.

What breaks my heart even worse is that Ryan has been legally blind his entire life. He was diagnosed with optic nerve hypoplasia at 4 months old, which means his optic nerves (which transfer images to the brain) didn't fully develop. If you didn't watch him closely, you would think he is a normal kid. He can see fairly well. He loves to play a game where every time you see a yellow car, you say, "Score!" (Until he starts losing, that is. Then he doesn't want to play anymore.) I want him to be a normal kid with all my heart. I want him to be able to drive, and take girls on dates, and go out and do whatever he can dream up. If he wants to be a pilot, I want him to have the ability to do so.

For years and years, ever since Ryan's diagnosis, our family has prayed for a miracle. We've prayed for Ryan's eyes to improve so that he can see the way we can. We have prayed hard for some sort of treatment to become available for his condition. Recently our prayers have been answered! In China, Beike (bay-kuh) Biotechnology does stem cell treatments for a variety of issues, including optic nerve hypoplasia. The stem cells come strictly from umbilical cord blood. The results patients with Ryan's same problem have seen have been nothing short of miraculous. There is nothing our family wants more than to get Ryan to China and give him this chance at his very own miracle.

So, now I ask you, my readers, for help. The treatment is not covered by insurance and it isn't cheap. We need all the help we can get to get Ryan to China. Please go to the link below and donate whatever you can, and know our family will always be grateful from the bottom of our hearts. Especially me.  Thanks you! Sydney

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