Ryan Berman’s Perseverance Over the Odds


Donated by Ryan Berman

Rebekah Barrera, Staff Writer

   What makes a hero?

     One can go back and forth about what makes someone heroic, arguing that those who cause change in an entire community or those who save lives are the only ones worthy enough for the title. But the truth is, as Christover Reeve says, “A hero is an ordinary individual who finds the strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles.” 

     For sophomore Ryan Berman, having to be strong for his family and for himself wasn’t much of a choice since the discovery of his brain tumor in 2017. From the first spinal and brain MRI he’s gotten (in which the tumor was found), he’s had to balance two biopsies, over 20 MRIs, and two surgeries with his everyday life to check if the tumor is cancerous and stop it from growing.

     With both surgeries, Ryan remembers experiencing more emotional pain than physical, recalling that “The first one was definitely the scariest because [he] had no idea what was happening.” Following this first surgery was four years of no tumor growth, constantly good results from MRIs, and a better sense of normality.

     This changed last November, when his tumor had grown a little and the doctors decided to go back in and operate. He expresses that “For that second one, [he] understood what was happening, which made it feel worse but also better because [he] knew what to expect.”

     As of Ryan’s last MRI, the tumor hasn’t grown, and he doesn’t let any fear of this stop him from having his own fun. He says that “[He] just want[s] to be known for who [he is], not what [he’s] been through.” 

     And who exactly is Ryan Berman? Ryan’s friends describe him as “a fun, free guy” who truly lives life to the fullest. He enjoys going outside and swimming as he’s loved the water his entire life. He says that boating, tubing, and all other water activities help him look back on his past and realize how strong of a person he is, being able to do it all. 

     Ryan continues to be the epitome of positivity, taking all his experiences one by one and only gaining from them. “If there is anything to learn, it’s that… any day can be a great day if that’s how you look at it,” he affirms. “How a day will go is up to you, 100%.”