Clemmons, NC - Ryan Wood, the 16-year-old student from West Forsyth High School suffering from a rare form of cancer, has died.
News 2 confirmed with Ryan's father, Randy, that Ryan died after midnight Thursday morning. Randy told News 2 that he is grateful to the TV station and all of Ryan's friends from around the world for their support.
"He'll be in my heart for the rest of my life and I'll definitely think about him," Brett Saunders, Ryan's friend, said. "I'll think back when I'm older, hey I remember that kid that everyone loved and he's impacted my whole life."
Ryan was suffering from burkitts lymphoma. He was first diagnosed in April and beat the cancer, but it came back again November 1.
Ryan's friends shared his story through Twitter using the hashtag #PrayForRyan. The hashtag quickly became a trending topic and garnished the attention of celebrities including basketball superstar and Triad native Chris Paul. Paul's involvement went beyond recognizing #PrayForRyan on social media. He had announced he would cover the cost of Ryan's Make-A-Wish-Trip to Key West.
"What he helped us do was powerful," Ryan Gould, Ryan's friend, said. "He helped us bring people closer. He brought a group of friends closer than we've ever been and I'm pretty sure he brought other people closer."
Make-A-Wish released this statement about Ryan's passing: The Make-A-Wish family is deeply saddened over the loss of 15-year old Ryan Wood. Ryan's story captured the hearts of the Winston-Salem community and touched the lives of people around the country, including NBA Clippers star Chris Paul, a graduate of West Forsyth High School, where Ryan attended. Chris's CP3 Foundation has been a generous supporter of Make-A-Wish for several years and immediately wanted to completely fund Ryan's wish that was planned for he and his family through our Adopt-A-Wish program.
Make-A-Wish grants the wishes of children with life-threatening illnesses and creates life-changing experiences that impact our wish kids, their families, and entire communities. With the support of Ryan's parents, Chris Paul intends to fund another child's wish in Ryan's honor through Make-A-Wish Central and Western North Carolina.
WFMY News 2