Office of Student Life

BuckeyeThon BuckeyeThon

Meet Rylee


My name is Rylee Cavins, I'm 15 years old and a sophomore at Marysville High School. I am pretty much your normal teenager, I play on the high school golf team, I'm a good student and I'm in advanced classes, I like to read books, play video games and hang out with my friends. I love to watch movies, all kinds of movies, action/adventure, comedy, YA movies, Sci-Fi, and fantasy. Next month I will be a 6 year cancer survivor. I had Ewing’s Sarcoma in my left tibia.  I was diagnosed when I was 8 years old and have had to have several surgeries on my leg along with chemotherapy. I’ve also needed several more surgeries that have dealt with side effects from my chemo.  For most of a year I spent a lot of time in the hospital, whether it was for my chemotherapy, which usually took about a week or if I had just gotten sick, which happened a lot due to the chemo making my immune system weaker.

Luckily in the hospital there were things to make us feel better and help the time pass during our stay, like games or arts and crafts. There were also child life specialists who would bring games to your room when you weren’t feeling good, which happened to be most of the time for me. On the floor there would also be things for the families like dinners, movies, and bingo. Occasionally, we would have special guests, such as Blue Jackets, Gold Medal Olympians, and Buckeye athletes.

This is my 5th year being involved with BuckeyeThon as a miracle child. It’s great to be apart of something run by students that are making a difference for cancer kids like me.  The impact they are having for bringing awareness to Childhood Cancer and the money that they raise for the oncology unit at Nationwide Childrens hospital is amazing. Throughout my time with BuckeyeThon I’ve participated in various events such as a fashion show, high school dance athon events, family events for the Miracle Families and obviously the big Dance Marathon. Last year I also had the opportunity to be involved in the 5k.

Last year’s 5k was a Glow Run and it didn’t start until after dark. At the event, they had glow in the dark paint to put on you. Along the run, there were archways that had UV lights in them to light up the paint. It was a lot of fun!  I was able to be in the 5k, but since I can’t really run, I walked the 5k and it took me a while to finish. It was really nice that there were always BuckeyeThon students walking with me, encouraging me and talking about random things with me along the way like what classes we had to scary movies. When I finished it felt really great to hear them chanting my name as they made a tunnel for me to walk through at the finish line. One of the main things I liked about the 5k was that it was different from BuckeyeThon’s other events. Everybody was doing the same thing; I did exactly the same thing as the other runners. Also you didn’t have to plan a long time in advance to be there, which was really nice.   

Many individual members of BuckeyeThon have taken their personal time to reach out in various ways and make a personal connection with me. Which means a lot to me. They do a lot of things with me, like helping me prepare for BuckeyeThon events or creating special opportunities. As a miracle child, I’ve received so much support from the more than 5000 students involved in BuckeyeThon, every time I go to events; they take the time to talk to me. Before I make a speech, they encourage me and afterwards, they congratulate me. It feels nice when they do that, and special that they take that time with me.

This year’s run is more of a traditional 5k. It’s in the morning and I’m really excited to be there! It seems like it’s a more family friendly because it does not take place at night. There will be many of the BuckeyeThon Miracle families there to get to know.  I look forward to seeing all of my BuckeyeThon friends and I can’t wait to meet you!

Author: Rylee Cavins