Ryan's Wish

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Michael McCollum<br />
8/2/18<br />
The Bearden High School Cadets at the reveal ceremony where it was announced to 13 year old Ryan Overman of west Knoxville that The Wish Connection is granting Ryan’s wish to go to Washington DC and visit the White House at Carl Cowan Park, 10058 S Northshore Dr, Knoxville, TN , Thursday, August 2, 2018 at 5:45pm. Approximately 50-60 people attended, including the Overman family, friends, and AT&T Employees. The Bearden High School Cadets also attended and lead the pledge of allegiance.<br />
 The AT&T Wish Connection is going to send Ryan, his family, and his service dog to Washington DC and while they are gone, the group of volunteers will be doing a makeover on his bedroom and turn it into the "Oval Office" at the White House.<br />
Ryan was born two weeks prematurely on May 13, 2005.  During the pregnancy he was classified as high risk due to a measured lack of growth and, after a brief stay in the hospital, he came home weighing only 4 lbs 5 oz.  His development was much slower compared to his peers, such as not learning to walk until he was well over a year old, and he was much smaller. The Overman family worked with Tennessee Early Intervention Services (TEIS) when Ryan was about one year old and with their help they were able to get Ryan enrolled through TEIS to receive Occupational, Physical, and Speech Therapy.  When Ryan turned three he transitioned from TEIS to the Knox County Early Intervention Program and began attending a special school to continue his therapies until he was old enough to enroll at Cedar Bluff Elementary and now is at Cedar Bluff Middle School. In 2016, Ryan was diagnosed to have retinitis pigmentosa, a degenerative disease of the retinas that under the best of circumstances causes severe tunnel vision, but more commonly results in complete blindness.<br />
 Despite the physical difficulties that Ryan has had to endure over the last thirteen years, he continually brightens the lives of those around him.  If someone is h