January 2017 – Happy New Year

HAPPY NEW YEAR family and friends! A bit late, but I truly hope this update finds each one of you happy and healthy. I’m going to keep this one short!

I am fortunate enough to be a farmer, which does not feel like an occupation, it feels more like a privilege. I have grown up farming and this is all I have ever wanted to do. We have been thrown a few testing years by the drought, but by installing new irrigation we have ensured that we now have systems in place so that we are not vulnerable in the future and that I will be able to keep doing what I love. ALS has taught us a very similar lesson – to make sure we are prepared and aware of what’s around the next corner…and brave enough to take a risk.

The 2016 Gowrie Golf Day was a great success. The huge turn-out was so amazing and we really felt the love and support from our awesome community and friends. It was such a fun, happy day and the money raised will go entirely towards Tobii I-12 eye tracker (http://inclusivesoluitions.co.za). We are off to Joburg (Greg – thanks so much for the hotel booking mate!) next week to meet the team from Inclusive Solutions to get it set up and start the training process. This ‘screen’ will enable me to answer my phone, send messages, operate the lights and manage my day-to-day life a lot easier as my abilities regress. This is not to say that we don’t hope and believe every day that a cure is possible before we need this assistance.

Ari Seirlis, the CEO of the QuadPara Association of South Africa, spent the morning with us one Sunday earlier this month. He gave us amazing support and encouragement and had a lot of helpful advice for the road that lies ahead. I fell in love with his drone! He flew it above our home, and I’m so excited to start exploring the opportunities the drone offers which will help me keep farming as long as possible. He is an incredibly inspiring man who lets nothing get in his way, especially his disability.

A massive thank you to Jenna Coventry, our very special friend from Zambia, whose support and crazy ideas never cease to surprise us! Jenna organised a weight-loss competition in Zambia and raised a whopping $7600 – which will go a long way to settling the balance of the eye tracker.

Good luck to all the runners for next weekend who have entered the Run-4-Ryan trail run. Looking at the list of friends and family who are attending, there are going to be a few with very stiff legs and big blisters on Monday morning. Thanks for putting yourselves out there for a good cause guys 🙂

Check out the photos from Run-4-Ryan. 

Call me crazy, stupid or a dumb-ass, but I’m not letting a little terminal disease get in the way of letting me live. It’s surely not the life we had planned for ourselves or easy by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s ours and I plan on squeezing every ounce out of it. Don’t waste a second waiting for the adventure of life to come to you, go out there and grab it, on your terms.

Lots of love, Ryan