GREENWICH, N.Y. — A terminally ill boy from Florida has been wishing to see snow all his life, and his dream came true Friday in the Capital Region.
Ryder Snow, 4, and his dad, Mike, traveled to the area to spend the weekend with family that lives in the Capital Region. They spent the day at Willard Mountain, filled with lots of winter activities like tubing and skiing.
Ryder is diagnosed with a rare and incurable brain stem tumor also known as Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma or DIPG.
“Some people have gone longer, but they've given us 9 months to a year. I'm not thinking about it. He's happy. As long as he's happy,” said his father, Michael.
He says his son always wanted to play in the snow, but they couldn't afford to pay for a trip. So, with the help of his cousin and the power of social media, Ryder's wish came true thanks to donations from the local community.
“Jason from Willard Mountain saw the post and he offered Ryder and Mike a day in the snow. And through social media and friends it just all came together,” said the boy's cousin, Jennifer Foley.
Staff at Willard Mountain volunteered their day to make Ryder's day in the snow go off without a hitch. The 4-year-old first took a ride to get a tour of the mountain, then it was off to the hill where he and his family went tubing.
All of the expenses were paid for, including the flight and hotel. One of the organizations helping out was Maddie's Mark Foundation.
“When Madeline was diagnosed with DIPG, the same cancer Ryder has, the world moved mountains for us and created these amazing times that was so easy for us,” said Erin Musto with the foundation.
And since then, Maddie's Mark has been providing “Best Days Ever” for children suffering from major illness.
Ryder's dad says his son has received treatments to slow the growth of the tumor, but his main focus right now is to make his son happy.
The two will remain in the Capital Region until Sunday. Their next adventure will be a Disney cruise out of Florida.