3-year-old Rylee celebrates end of cancer treatment

VAN WERT COUNTY – On Sunday, 3-and-a-half-year-old Rylee Motycka got a
big surprise when a parade of cars led by Convoy EMS and Fire drove by
her house, ringing bells and showering her with gifts to celebrate the
end of a long battle with Leukemia. On Saturday, Rylee finished her final chemo treatment.

Rylee is the daughter of Tim and Dayna Motycka, residents of the Convoy area. Dayna noted the feeling of being done with the chemo treatment was surreal. Every day for over two years, Rylee has taken the treatment to help fight off the cancer.

“It was weird because we were like ‘Do we throw this away?'” said Dayna
of the treatment pack. “Because you just think, ‘What if something
happens?’ But it won’t. You have to tell yourself that you don’t need
this anymore. It was really weird for us to give it to her, and then Tim
and I looked at each other and said, ‘We don’t need this anymore,
right? We can throw it in the trash?'”

While Rylee is officially
in remission, she still has to see doctors once a month for the next
year at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital just to make sure everything
still looks okay.

“It’s just for bloodwork to make sure things are fine which will be good for me because I need to know that the cancer is staying gone,” said Dayna.
“After the first year, we will go down every three months for a year,
and after that, we just take her regular pediatric checkups.”

On Feb. 28, 2019, at only 16-months-old, Rylee was diagnosed with Pre-B Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. Tim and Dayna Motycka’s lives changed overnight. The family spent the first month of Rylee’s diagnosis at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. For the first part of her treatment, Rylee’s
immune system was delicate meaning she couldn’t go out very often.
Today, she’s a happy and healthy 3-year-old who will now be able to
enjoy all the things her brother and sister enjoy.

“I’m looking forward to not having to split my time with the kids,” said Dayna who noted that often her 6-year-old daughter Haley didn’t understand why she was spending so much time with Rylee. Dayna and Tim also have a son, 13-year-old Kaden. “Just to not have to split my time anymore will be nice.”

On Monday, May 10, Rylee’s central line was removed. During the removal, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and the nurses and doctors that treated Rylee held a special “bell ringing” ceremony, which signifies that a child beat cancer.

“When you ring the bell, you have completed your treatment,” said Dayna. “So for the parade, that’s what all the bells were for–to signify that everyone is ringing the bell along with Rylee.”

On Sunday, Tim and Dayna held a party with friends and family to celebrate with Rylee. A bell-ringing parade had been planned for quite some time, but Dayna admitted she didn’t know if anyone would show up. When dozens of cars drove by to celebrate, including a Weigand semi, the company Tim works for, Dayna’s eyes filled with tears of joy. Many, including the Weigand company owner and one of the individuals in a Convoy fire truck, stopped to give Rylee balloons and gifts.

“It’s overwhelming to see everyone show up and support Rylee and to be excited for us that we are done,” Dayna noted.

Throughout Rylee’s treatment, the community has been very generous according to Dayna.
While she admits that at times it was hard for her to accept so much
generosity, she said that it was very appreciated and often
overwhelming.

“The community just wants to help and be there in
any way that they can; they’re hoping that our life gets back to normal
just as much as we are,” said Dayna. “Knowing how to accept that from
the community is difficult, but then you see this (the parade) and you
just know that’s what it’s all about.”

“Rylee is the toughest little girl I’ve ever met,” Dayna added.

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