LAKE COUNTY, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - Eight-year-old Jay Ryon is at it again. The boy from Lake County is the inspiration behind the smallest team with the largest amount of money raised that will run in this weekend's Disney World Marathon.
The signs are crafted by 8-year-old Jay Ryon himself, the packing almost finished by Mom and Aunt Sara, and the inspiration is stronger then ever. Mom Maggie, and the three others on the team have been training for weeks for the Disney World Marathon. It's this weekend -- 26-plus miles, and this team is running for Jay.
Jay's used to the attention. His dad Nick is a Lake County firefighter and has garnered the support of firefighters around the world. Just a couple months ago Jay made big news when he tweeted a picture of himself holding a sign urging the Florida Gators to beat Ole Miss like he's beating leukemia. It got him a personal invite to a Gator's game.
He has fought the fight against leukemia, so far winning and in remission, with a grace that inspires. His Uncle Eric traveled from North Carolina to run this weekend. "He's the strongest person I know," he said. " What he goes through on the daily is more than I imagined anyone having to do...more than I do. The kid's got the biggest smile in the world."
Maggie is proud to run for her son, and this small team has raised the most money of any other small team -- $19,000 or more and counting towards finding a cure.
So this weekend when this family laces up their shoes and walks the walk...or runs the run...Jay will be right there cheering, smiling, hoping. Always hoping. When asked what it would mean to him if they found a cure, Jay responds in the pragmatically poignant vernacular of the very young, "The world."
If you would like to contribute to research to find a cure for leukemia, click here.