My name is Ryan Thomason, I am 32 years old and I am going deaf/blind from Usher Syndrome Type Two. I’m married to an amazing wife with two kids who very much keep my life full to the max.
I’ve always considered myself an athlete. Growing up, my brother and I found a way to drag the neighbor kids into some kind of sport. Whether it was basketball on our back yard court, football in the perfect rectangle that was the neighbors, or in the baseball field we dug out of the old pasture behind where we all lived. In high school I was a starter on Varsity football on both Offense and Defense my Junior and Senior years. I lettered in Track and Field for three years, and earned 3rd place in state my senior year in the Shotput. During college I was a walk on for our Track and Field team where I continued doing the throwing events until the need to balance school and a part time job took over. From there, I met Jennifer, the woman who would become my wife in college, got married and moved across the country on a five year plan to move back to the state of Washington. We’ve…extended that plan for now.
After being diagnosed when I was 27 years old, we’d already had my oldest, Lincoln. and soon after my little girl Finley. I felt the need to do something more to push my body so I could prove to myself that Usher Syndrome won’t keep me down. So, I signed up for a 12 mile obstacle course race. Yes, probably not the best idea, but that Tough Mudder race changed me. I got back into working out, and training again for the next race.
What my goal here is to show everyone that even though Usher Syndrome can be an isolating and scary thing, it doesn’t have to stop us from living our lives. I may be going deaf and blind, but that doesn’t mean I can’t hit the pavement and run on the sidewalk. Yes, I have to be extra aware of everything. Yes, sometimes I have minor incidences. Yes, I pick myself back up every time and keep on going.