Health & Medicine

Lexington Dream Factory helps teen with cancer to attend Super Bowl

Timothy "Ryan" Dotson,
16, attended the Super Bowl in New Jersey on Sunday.
Timothy "Ryan" Dotson, 16, attended the Super Bowl in New Jersey on Sunday.

The Lexington Dream Factory had more than a rooting interest in the Super Bowl, and it won big.

The volunteer organization, which works to make dreams come true for children with critical and chronic illnesses, arranged for Timothy "Ryan" Dotson of Matewan, W.Va., to attend the sports spectacular Sunday in New Jersey.

Additionally, CBS Sports columnist Gregg Doyel reported, Ryan had lunch Saturday with members of his favorite team, the Seattle Seahawks. They went on to beat Denver 43-8 on Sunday.

The 16-year-old suffers from Ewing's sarcoma, a bone cancer that typically strikes children and adolescents.

A news release from the Dream Factory said his medical battle would "be set aside for a few days" so he could make the trip. He has been treated at Kentucky Children's Hospital, a part of UK HealthCare in Lexington.

The youngster was diagnosed with cancer in July 2012. He had a tumor on his skull, and the cancer had spread to his lungs.

After 14 rounds of chemotherapy over 46 days in the hospital, Ryan has endured 41 radiation treatments on his head and lungs. He has had countless blood and platelet transfusions.

His last chemotherapy treatment was in late Februrary 2013. Since then, his medical scans have been clear, but he still faces plastic surgeries for skull replacement and skin grafting.

His mother, Andreana, said in a statement, "I want to thank everyone at the Lexington Dream Factory for doing this for Ryan.

"Ryan said this was a dream come true. ... I'm so thankful to the Dream Factory for making this possible. He deserves it. He has been through so much. It warms my heart to see him happy.

"I'm so glad I get to share the experience with him; something we will never forget. Ryan is my hero."

Todd Wallace, president of the Dream Factory chapter in Lexington, said in a release that children's dreams are granted through the generosity of corporate sponsors and kindness of individual donors and volunteers.

The Dream Factory Inc. was founded in 1980 in Hopkinsville by Charles Henault. Headquartered in Louisville, it has more than 38 chapters nationwide.

The Lexington Dream Factory, led by an all-volunteer board, is one of its largest chapters.

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