No Rain on this Country Christmas Parade

Ryker loves country music – especially classic country singer Lee Greenwood. Kids Wish Network, a children’s charity that grants wishes for kids with life-threatening illnesses, created a special VIP wish, flying his family to Tennessee for its annual festive and famed Nashville Christmas Parade. The wish was revealed at Ryker’s school assembly, and celebrated among his family and fellow schoolmates. There was also another big surprise… he’d be meeting his idol Lee Greenwood. Ryker was filled with emotions, and had a hard time holding back his happy tears.


Once in Nashville, his family explored several famous attractions. They walked Nashville’s famous Broadway Strip, experienced the Country Music Hall of Fame, Patsy Cline Museum, and the Johnny Cash Museum which he loved. That evening, the family visited the holiday light display at Opryland, and were dazzled by all the festive decorations and attractions.


The next day, his family visited Rippy’s Honky Tonk where they had VIP seats to watch the Nashville Christmas Parade. “Ryker’s favorite part was seeing the Clydesdale Horses,” said his mom Myra. Due to a scheduling conflict, meeting Lee Greenwood was not possible that day, but Mr.Greenwood plans to meet with Ryker privately during the last stop of his tour in Iowa.


During Ryker’s countrified wish, his family also went to the George Jones Museum, and saw a variety of country singers at the legendary Grand Ole Opry. Accommodations were provided by DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Nashville Downtown.


Ryker was born with hypertrophic obstructive cardiomyopathy, a heart condition which makes it difficult for the heart to pump blood. He’s undergone open-heart surgery, and also has Noonan Syndrome, and has needed numerous shunt surgeries, including emergency surgeries for complications.


“We’re so happy Ryker and his family could experience such a memorable Christmas enjoying Nashville’s magical splendor,” said Kids Wish Network Executive Director Tam Lai.


Kids Wish Network would like to thank the following sponsors for making Ryker’s dreams become a reality:


  • Grand Ole Opry
  • George Jones Museum
  • Johnny Cash Museum
  • Patsy Cline Museum
  • Country Music Hall of Fame
  • DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Nashville Downtown