A small bicycle that a boy with cancer never got to play with, has been sprayed in gold paint to help raise awareness of childhood cancer.
eptember is childhood cancer awareness month and among the initiatives is ‘Heroes Golden Bikes.’
His mum Leanne Coyle explained: “This bike was bought when Ryan was first diagnosed and has never been used, as by the time he finished treatment he’d outgrown it.”
Ryan is now six years old and dreams of playing for Liverpool FC.
When he was just two years old, he was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, a rare form of cancer, and his treatment included surgery, chemotherapy and a stem cell transplant.
He is in first class in school and while he has no active cancer in his body, he is closely monitored; there is a small spot on his skull which means he is not cancer free.
At locations like parks and playgrounds around Ireland, you can see some of the bicycles that parents have sprayed in gold paint to try and raise awareness.
“People are asked to spray their child’s bike gold and place it in an area where it can be seen, I thought it was a beautiful idea and would catch people’s attention, so I sprayed Ryan’s very first bike.
“It’s important to me that people know about childhood cancer as I don’t think it gets as much awareness as breast or other cancers, or as much funding.”
She is aware of three other children with cancer in Duleek, Co Meath, where Leanne, husband Donal and younger son Lennon live. “I think people just think that kids don’t get cancer, I always thought the very same, until it happens to you.
“People need to be aware of the signs of childhood cancer and so many people would never know what the signs actually are.”
She says Ryan is a very active child and “you would never think he went through what he did. He loves being out playing on his bike with his friends, his brother Lennon and cousin Nathan.
“He plays football now with Balrath FC and loves it and when he’s older he wants to play for Liverpool and be famous.”
She said they are one of the “lucky families because we can actually watch our child grow up and actually be a child. So many others don’t get that opportunity,” Leanne said.