Ryan Vieth

Climb Host

Ryan's climb photo

About: In 2019, Ryan’s year started out great. Ryans family (wife and five boys!) were moving ahead and growing up, and he had started his own business. He was able to visit his oldest son in Australia while he was there for two years. On that trip in May, he noticed some issues with his gastrointestinal system. He was told that the only way to find out if there was an underlying issue was to get a colonoscopy, which wouldn’t be fully covered by insurance since he was under 50. He didn’t care – he needed an answer. September 12, 2019, he went in for the colonoscopy and was slammed in the face with the devastating news. There was a 2-inch-long tumor in his rectum, and he was at least late stage III. Life was forever changed.

After two years of fighting, hurting, and losing most of my daily activity and ability to participate in life, his family received some good news. The tumors were shrinking; there was no new cancer; and his lymph system and other organs were clear. The primary site in his  rectum was also healed and showed no evidence of cancer. He was classified as stable! They started on a maintenance treatment plan, and he is now going in for treatments with the hope that things will continue to shrink and improve

The events, battles, emotions, and changes to his body over the last two-and-a-half years have forever changed Ryan. They were fortunate to have an amazing and gifted medical team, massive amounts of support and care from family and friends, and he has been blessed with an amazing and caring partner in his wife. Throughout the time of isolation and being bed-ridden, he was able to truly assess life, emotions, the potential of death, and what is truly important as they head into the future.

His business is finally moving forward; his family is getting into the rhythm of their  new normal; and they are slowly healing mentally and emotionally. He has a new sense of purpose and wants to assist those who are going through a similar battle with his experiences and encouragement. He hopes to be able to give to those who need it and to push our society toward the necessary engagement and services that are necessary to battle this disease.

Why Ryan Climbs: “I climb to bring awareness to colorectal cancer and grow the community of people who are helping find the best support and treatment for those fighting this disease. I climb for myself and as an example to my children. I climb for all of those I have met through treatment who are also fighting. I’m passionate about the fight because the last two years of my fight have been incredibly difficult, but I made it through! Having seen how many people, who are younger and younger, fight this disease makes me want to give what I can to assist others in the fight.”

What keeps Ryan motivated: “My family and children and being here for them as long as possible keeps me motivated.”

Ryans advice to Climbers: “To patients: Never quit! There are so many times that treatments, emotions, and your mind will wear down, and you may feel hopeless. You can make it through! During my battle, I shared my experiences with family and friends and ended every communication with, ‘NEVER stop hoping; NEVER stop fighting; NEVER stop loving.’”