Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Ryan Update 9/24/13

Dearest Staplehouse Friends!

Some time has past since our last update and we have much to share with you... stories from the winding road of life if you will.  Let's start with a bit of introspection. 

You hear the term "roller coaster" as it relates to emotions quite frequently.  We're not sure we've ever really understood what that meant, or at least we couldn't identify with the term up until these last 9 months.  It's a challenge and a privilege to be able to take this walk, and we owe all of you a debt of gratitude for pushing us uphill when we needed it, carrying us when we could not take another step and simply offering a smile and a hand on our back so that we never feel alone.  Imagine the worst and imagine the best that life can be, then mash them into a 9 month span of time.

Take a deep breath.  Now open your eyes.  Thank you all for taking this journey with us.

Since the last update on Ryan's health, treatment has been up and down.  His spirit and positivity haven't changed, although hindered at times, but the realization of how precious this life is is ever present.  The last major public update (in July) provided news of a bumpier road and increased tumor markers every week.  Since then, we traveled through weeks of uncertainty when we realized the chemo drugs were no longer working in the same capacity as they had in the past. The road did indeed get bumpier.

We tried several different types of IV and oral drugs to seize growth and after a total of 10 weeks, knew that we had to make a radical chemo change.   After a tremendous amount of follow up with numerous doctors and research from other gallbladder patients across the country, we embark now on a new chemo path and feel confident in it.  We will know more mid-October and gauge progress then.

Onto more exciting things...

Most of you have come to know us through our supper club series, Prelude to Staplehouse.  For the last five years we have been hard at work cooking, marketing, organizing and planning our dream restaurant.  Cancer was a roadblock that at first seemed insurmountable.  Through the efforts of so many of you, we are thrilled to say that we are back on track.   

Staplehouse is due to open early 2014!

We couldn't be more proud of this project and the new purpose that drives it.  We will miss our quaint dinners out of our home, but you can expect the same forward-thinking honest fare and genuine hospitality that has always been at our core.  By simply dining at our O4W restaurant, guests are creating a sustainable source of funding for The Giving Kitchen (TGK), a 501c(3) that strives to provide charitable contributions to members of the Atlanta's restaurant community facing unanticipated hardships of their own.

Here's a couple fun ways to hang out and support TGK and Staplehouse in October...

First up is Atlanta Eats Live! on October 6th.  Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre, a venue that houses the likes of musical acts from the Rolling Stones to Tony Bennett, will play host to this event.  Attendees will eat and drink from over 30 handpicked restaurants that have been featured in Atlanta Eats’ first two seasons, enjoy great live & local music, and take part in honoring two of Atlanta’s culinary legends as well as debuting a short film of TGK's trip to Woodford Reserve in bourbon country of Kentucky.  We made a trip up to the mother land to do a barrel tasting and blend a special one-of-a-kind batch of Woodford to be sold in select Atlanta restaurants.  A portion of proceeds from Atlanta Eats Live! benefit TGK!  Get your tickets here.

Second up is the Atlanta Cheese Festival on October 11th!  Held at Park Tavern in Piedmont Park from 5PM-11PM, the festival will feature over 50 of the most recognized cheese & artisan food producers from all over the world.  All of the producers will be sampling their famous cheeses & products.  For those guests that find cheese euphoria, cheese & additional product will be available for purchase.  By attending the Atlanta Cheese Festival, you will support TGK as a portion of proceeds go to support the cause!  For tickets, click here.

Thanking you, our biggest supporters.
Ryan + Jen