Therapeutic Recreation Participant of the Month













Get to know Ryan:

Age: 22 years old

Favorite Food: Gluten free pizza

Favorite Activities: Playing sports of any kind (baseball, competing in the Special Olympics in Track and Basketball) and volunteering in the neighborhood 

Favorite Color: Purple

Favorite Music: All the "NOW" CD's

Favorite Animal: His English Bulldog, Duke

When Ryan was born, his parents were surprised to find that he had Down syndrome. And shortly there after they were told he had a very large hole in his heart. They held off as long as possible, but had to perform surgery when he was only two months old. Ryan fully recovered from the surgery aside from a few bouts of a bad respiratory infection until he was about 8 years old. He overcame many obstacles though and his parents would categorize him as a fighter. He began walking at 12 months of age even though doctors told them that wouldn’t happen until he was at least 2 years old. He attended school for 20 years and graduated from TC Williams High School in June 2011. Ryan now holds a part time job at Your Dog’s Best Friends dog daycare, which is perfect fit for him because of his love of animals.

Sports are a huge part of Ryan’s life and the Therapeutic Recreation Program of Alexandria (TR) has helped him in achieving his sporting goals. When Ryan was younger, the program director of TR created a baseball and basketball program for children with disabilities in the city and Ryan found a love of the game and many friends.  Ryan also loves the dances that TR holds as well as the swimming programs. He has enjoyed participating in the TR summer camps, bowling and Friday Night Hype.

Ryan will be running in the Kelley Cares 5K this year fresh off his Special Olympics championship track meet where he took home two 3rd place ribbons and one 1st place.

Get to know Tucker:

Age: 8 years old

Siblings: Ethan, 11 years old and Sarah, 13 years old

Favorite Food: Will eat anything and everything

Favorite Game: Clapping and roughhousing with Dad

Favorite Music: When his sister plays piano

Tucker has been a part of the Theraputic Recreation (TR) family for the past three years by participating in the summer camps. TR summer camps give Tucker a place where he can continue to learn in the summer when school is out, which is integral for his future. His favorite part of the summer is swimming with the other campers. Tucker’s Mom said that she thinks the Kelley Cares Multi-Sensory Room is extremely helpful in Tucker’s physical and mental development. All the different textiles, lights and sounds really get his primary senses engaged.

Tucker participates in TR because of a seizure he suffered from when he was only 3 ½ years old. The seizure caused a severe brain injury that he is still recovering from. Tucker may not be able to talk or walk, but he wears his emotions on his sleeves. He is happiest when he stands outside and can feel the wind blowing, when his sister is playing a tune for him on the piano and when his Dad acts like their living room is a wrestling ring.