Hello everyone, my name is Ryan. Back in 2011 I was diagnosed with WPW syndrome – a birth defect heart complication that interferes with the electrical impulses for a normal heartbeat. Shortly thereafter, my medical certificate for flying was revoked. It was an incredibly frustrating and heart breaking moment in my life, and I remember smashing my phone after the doctor called to inform me that my career as a pilot looked bleak. Quite frankly, my career was over before it started. Over the course of the next 6 months, I would go through testing, numerous evaluations and ultimately a successful operation on my heart. After that came: trials, more evaluations, and stress testing. Left unchecked, the abnormal heartbeat could cause blood pressure, fainting, heart failure or other serious heart complications as I grew older. If I had never chosen to fly, I would not have had a medical screening which unveiled my irregular heart beat, and subsequent discovery of WPW syndrome. It's incredibly surreal and humbling to know my career choice influenced my life so greatly.
Having a healthy heart is an incredible gift, so staying active and running is a blessing that is constantly refining how I choose to go about life each day. So this October, I'll be running the 2019 Bank of America Chicago Marathon for the Open Heart Magic Charity Team. Funds raised will help recruit and train more Volunteer Hospital Magicians and purchase the supplies our volunteers need, including the ones given to each young patient as they learn to perform a trick of their very own. Having been through a similar experience and being able to emotionally relate with these kids, I feel especially honored to be running for the Open Heart Magic Team. With your help we’ll be able to bring magic and smiles to thousands of children and their families, right when and where they need it the most. Thank you, I appreciate your time! 😊