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Ryan’s St. Jude Profile

She may be one in 3 million, but for Ryan Christian only three things really matter—being strong, healthy and loved.

Dorie Christian likes to tell people that her daughter is one in a million. Actually, that’s an extremely conservative estimate—but who’s counting?

Although her dad is the professional athlete in the family, 8-year-old Ryan Christian has amassed some impressive stats of her own. She’s an award-winning artist, an accomplished ice skater and an avid animal lover. A fashion consultant, soccer player and social butterfly. A gymnast, honor student and basketball player. And she pulls it all off with uncommon grace and enthusiasm.

During a checkup at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Ryan and her parents rattle off the names of the medications she takes. Talk about numbers: The third-grader requires about 40 pills each day as part of treatment for an extremely rare form of cancer known as adrenocortical carcinoma (ACC). Although the overall incidence of the disease is one in a million, the vast majority of those patients are adults. Only 20 to 25 children in the U.S. are affected each year (an incidence of one in 3.3 million children under 14 years of age). But Ryan and her parents, Jeff and Dorie, have reason for optimism. After all, they have come to a hospital that is internationally known for the research and treatment of ACC.

Read the rest of her story here.

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