10-year-old cancer survivor gets a wish and heads to Yellowstone
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CHUBBUCK — Last August, 10-year-old Ryder Klop fell off a tall fence landing flat on his belly.
Under most circumstances, this type of fall could have been a family’s worst nightmare. For the Klops though, the fall ended up being a one of the family’s greatest blessings.
Immediately after the painful incident, Ryder didn’t want to go to the doctor, his mother Brittany Klop said. But after he woke up from a nap crying from the pain, Brittany could wait no longer and took Ryder to the doctor for a Positron Emission Tomography or PET scan.
Brittany was informed her son had suffered a ruptured intestine and needed to be rushed to Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City via an air ambulance. In Salt Lake City, after a rushed operation, the news got worse.
The surgeon informed Brittany they had discovered a softball-sized tumor in his intestines.
It was determined to be cancerous, and Ryder was diagnosed with Burkitt Lymphoma on Aug. 10.
“This is one of the fastest-growing tumors — one of the most deadly ones, too,” Brittany told EastIdahoNews.com. “If you don’t catch it in time, he’s gone. I heard it could grow 10 times in 18 hours. If he didn’t fall, we’d have had no clue.”
Doctors then found a second, smaller tumor near Ryder’s bladder in later tests.
“We were devastated,” Brittany added. “We were just heartbroken when we found out, and he wasn’t quite sure — it’s a lot to process for a 10-year-old. We just kept telling him, ‘there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.’”
Ryder and his family endured biweekly drives to Salt Lake City for treatments. But they finally did reach the light at the end of the tunnel when Ryder was declared cancer-free and got to ring the bell on Nov. 23.
Now, eight months after ringing the bell and with the help of Make-A-Wish Idaho, Ryder and his family have traded the long drives to Salt Lake City for a much more comfortable jaunt to Yellowstone National Park in a rented RV.
The family vacation, includes a fishing trip and being the grand marshal for the West Yellowstone, Montana 4th of July Parade.
The RV was reserved by Make-A-Wish Idaho through a third-party rental program — similar to Airbnb, but for RVs.
The family that owns the RV was contacted by Make-A-Wish to help. They don’t normally rent outside of their home area of Boise, but after hearing Ryder’s story, they drove their RV to Twin Falls, bringing Ryder a Lego set.
While not as flashy as a trip to Disneyland might have been (the park is still mostly closed due to COVID-19), the all-expense paid fishing trip ended up being a much more feasible option for the family.
“They are going to go on a fishing trip,” Make-A-Wish Idaho Regional Director Julie Thomas said. “They’re going to go to the wolf exhibit and they’re going to stop at Bear World.”
The family is currently on the trip, and Brittany plans to document the trip on her TikTok account, using the hashtag “#RyderStrong.”