A young cancer survivor ended his radiation treatment with a big donation to the Chicago hospital that helped him heal.
Ryan Collins rang the celebration bell at Lurie Children's Hospital in Chicago on Wednesday, but the 11-year-old also gifted the hospital with a check for more than $4,200, money he earned by operating a lemonade stand throughout his treatment, the hospital said.
"We were so honored to celebrate our friend Ryan's end of treatment yesterday with the 'ringing of the bell' and a check presentation with all of his friends and family," the hospital said in a statement Thursday. "Ryan’s Hope held a lemonade [fundraiser] over the summer to help support pediatric cancer research at Lurie Children's and raised over $4,200! We are so grateful for all of our amazing patients and families."
It's been nearly a year since Ryan was rushed to the hospital after vomiting and experiencing mind-numbing headaches. Days later, he had a medulla blastoma removed from the base of his skull.
He spent months battling cancer with radiation treatment and said he even had to pause his chemotherapy once.
"That was really hard," Ryan told ABC's Chicago station WLS. "It was so hard [that] I stop my chemo early because they thought it would do more harm than good."
Ryan and his mother, Becca Collins, said they hope his story inspires others to stay strong and help others in the process.
"What these kids go through is the worst thing you can see and to have your child go through," Becca Collins told WLS, "and then to have him come out on the other end of it and want to help others, and to make improvements in the healthcare industry for other children ... I couldn't be more proud of him."