On the last day of second grade in June 2015, Ryan Mott complained of double vision and balance problems.
Days later, on June 16, 2015, the eight-year-old Stafford resident was diagnosed with Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG) — a highly aggressive and treatment resistant childhood cancer.
“It’s a rare brain tumor and it’s very aggressive,” Michelle Mott, Ryan’s mother, told Fox 5.“ Most kids live nine to 12 months. There is no survival rate. You can’t operate. There is no cure.”
Ryan is in a clinical trial at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Washington, D.C. It’s been a very tough year, and friends and family were looking for ways to bolster Ryan. They knew he loved Lamborghinis, and that he had a wish to be photographed with one of the Italian luxury sports cars.
That wish came true on December 26, 2015.
“The family had posted on the Miracle for Ryan Facebook page about Ryan’s wish, and it was noticed by Ashleigh Scott of Make-A-Wish,” said local photographer and car enthusiast George Barnick. “From there it was discovered by the car community, who passed the wish on to many Lamborghini owners across the DC and Mid-Atlantic region.”
Lamborghini Washington in Sterling, Va., opened its doors to Ryan for a private event on Saturday. Family, friends and invited guests joined Ryan in touring the cars. Some people brought gifts.
“One person arranged a Facetime video call for Ryan with Valentino Balboni, the former chief test driver of Lamborghini,” Barnick said. “He’s a major icon in the sports car world. Valentino also sent Ryan a Lamborghini hat.”
More than $5,000 was raised for Ryan through donations and sweatshirt purchases at the event. The sweatshirts are custom-made Lamborghini sweatshirts with a “Miracle For Ryan” ribbon (in yellow for pediatric cancer awareness). Shirts are also available through the Miracle for Ryan gofundme page.
“Ryan was offered rides in the Lamborghinis, but he didn’t end up going because he was having a great time and that was enough for him,” Barnick said.
The Lamborghini event was the second surprise for Ryan during the holidays. Before Christmas, a grassroots organization called Ellie’s Elves built Whoville outside Ryan’s home. His favorite Christmas movie is “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.”
Editor’s Note: It was originally reported that teachers and classmates from Grafton Village Elementary School built Whoville. The article as written above is corrected.