COLLEGE STATION, Texas—It was almost two years ago when the Dollivers received the devastating news: their son had been diagnosed with a rare disease—that had no cure.
So, they set out on a mission to raise awareness about the disease and help other families who are also struggling for answers.
Three-year-old Ryan Dolliver has no idea he has a potentially fatal disease called vascular Ehlers-Danlos or vEDS.
His little body doesn’t produce collagen and any injury could be life-threatening.
The Dollivers had to completely change their lifestyle. He can’t do many activities like athletics, even jumping on a trampoline can be dangerous.
After so many trips to the hospital, Ryan’s father, quickly realized that even most doctors didn’t know how to treat his son.
“It’s 100 percent fatal, and I want to do everything to save my son,” said Kyle Dolliver, Ryan’s father.
“I need lots of help,” he added.
Hungry for information, Kyle set out on a mission—to raise awareness about vEDS and help other families that were also trying to help their kids live a normal life.
“We want to make sure that we do everything possible to make sure he has a healthy lifestyle,” said Kyle.
“There’s just nothing out there for us,” he added.
So, he started Ryan’s Challenge, a non-profit that’s brought vEDS into the spotlight with little Ryan acting a symbol of hope and change for a better life.
The vEDS conference is the first of its kind. Researchers will join doctors and patients to talk about how to fight the debilitating disease--and, find support in each other.
“You know whenever you get a diagnosis like this, you can feel like you're all alone,” said Kyle.
“Bringing those families together to know there's other people out there in the world. It's pretty powerful,” he added.