Tom Ryan was born May 2, 1952, in Quantico, VA. He has five brothers and five sisters. He married his childhood sweetheart and they had a son in 1970. Tom served in the U.S. Air Force from 1970 to 1974 and went on to work for the government as a U.S. Customs Agent. During his time with the government, Tom and his family were able to enjoy the experiences of living in Germany, California, Alaska, Florida, Colorado, Washington and the Bahamas. After 15 years with the government he and his son started their own business which is still in operation today. He had a great personality and was liked by everyone he met.
Tom went to his doctor in April 2006 for a routine check-up. His blood pressure was very high and he was given several medications. The medications produced poor results. A specialist determined he had Stage IV adrenocortical carcinoma (ACC) in August 2006. We were told that local physicians had little experience with this cancer. His son fervently searched and found physicians at Memorial-Sloan-Kettering in New York that were likely to help. In September 2006 surgery was scheduled in New York but upon attempting surgery Tom was determined to be inoperable. Trying every avenue, we scheduled admission at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda. Again, there was disappointment as the cancer had progressed beyond removal or treatment. The disease was overtaking him and even though he was getting weaker Tom never seemed to give up hope. He fought to the very end. He passed away peacefully at his home on December 2, 2006.
In the years before the cancer diagnoses Tom enjoyed remodeling homes in St. Petersburg, Florida and was able to travel frequently. He enjoyed many of the good things in life and will be always be remembered fondly by his family and friends.
If you would like to make a donation to Tom's Memorial in support of adrenocortical carcinoma research, please click here.