events by The Ryan Anthony Foundation
Almost two years ago, Dallas Symphony Orchestra principal trumpet, Ryan Anthony, had just completed a guest appearance with his old group, Canadian Brass, and wasn’t feeling well. After the concert, Ryan told his wife, Niki, that he felt like his entire body was “jangling” as he ran off-stage.
Recent chronic aches & pains had sent the 43-yr old to multiple doctors searching for the cause. Blood tests revealed abnormalities but multiple doctors reassured him that “it can’t be cancer” because Ryan was too young to be a candidate for the types of cancers that caused his symptoms. Fortunately, one doctor decided to test for cancer “just in case”. The Monday after the Canadian Brass concert, Ryan & Niki got the call that no one anticipates or is prepared for – especially with two young children in elementary school – Ryan had been diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma, a terminal cancer of the bone marrow that most often appears in patients 70 and older.
Ryan immediately began therapy at Baylor’s Sammons Cancer Center while he and Niki researched the places for his long-term treatment. After researching hospitals all over the country, they decided to stay at Baylor in Dallas and Ryan began preparing for a stem cell transplant to be performed in the Spring of 2013.
Just ten years ago, Multiple Myeloma was a death sentence with a life span of 2-3 years. While the cancer is still considered incurable and terminal, recent, rapid advances in research have greatly extended the life span of newly diagnosed patients and hope for a cure is a real possibility.
When he was diagnosed, Ryan’s goal was to survive long enough to see his children, then just 6 and 11-years-old, graduate from high school. But, because he has responded so well to his treatment and is in complete remission, Ryan & Niki both dare to hope for more.
During his transplant, Ryan was overwhelmed with phone calls from trumpet players all over the world. Everyone asked what they could do to help and Ryan jokingly started saying “we’ll all play a concert when I am healthy again and we’ll call it 'Cancer Blows' ”. As the weeks went by, the joke solidified into a real event with an impressive guest list. Soon Ryan & Niki realized the event could be more than just something for fun but could be used to raise awareness and money to further the research that has helped give their family a hope for a future.