By Tara Mathews
Amy Pettit, a 1996 Dassel-Cokato High School graduate, lost her husband nearly five weeks ago and a benefit is planned for the family.
Ryan Pettit of Howard Lake passed away July 9 due to complications of Ehlers-Danlos syndrome.
“He had been sick the last six years, and only recently demanded more testing,” Amy stated.
There will be a benefit for Ryan’s family at the Howard Lake Legion Saturday, Aug. 23.
The benefit will include:
• 5k walk at 9 a.m. Registration begins at 8 a.m., and the cost is $25;
• bean bag tournament at noon, with registration beginning at 11:30 a.m., $20 per team;
• silent auction from 4 to 7 p.m.;
• spaghetti lunch from noon to 5 p.m., $8 per dinner; and
• entertainment by DJ DK from 3 p.m. to 1 a.m.
Ryan began researching his symptoms two years ago, and only in the last few weeks of his life realized his symptoms matched Ehlers-Danlos syndrome.
“I am grateful he stumbled on it before he passed, or we would have just thought it was a stomach aneurysm,” Amy commented.
Two weeks before his passing, Ryan was tested for the disorder.
Amy received his results two days after he died.
Amy is now in the process of having their children tested for the disorder since there is a 50 percent chance Ryan passed it to them.
“Ryan’s kids were absolutely his life,” Amy noted.
Ryan and Amy have six children Hathaway, 16; Lily, 14; Joshua, 12; Cash, 8; Kensington, 3; and Cooper, 2.
Amy is due to have their seventh child Sept. 19.
The baby girl will be named Ryann, in honor of her deceased father, Amy said.
Amy expressed her appreciation toward everyone in the community, their family, and friends.
“I’m so grateful for all the people who have stopped over to check on us. We are very excited to celebrate Ryan’s life at the benefit,” Amy noted. “He lived for his family and friends.”
For more information about the benefit or to donate for the silent auction, contact Stephanie at (763) 670-9650, Robin at (952) 201-4884, Emily at (612) 987-6786, or Autum at (612) 850-1188.
According to the Mayo Clinic website, Ehlers-Danlos syndrome is an inherited disorder that affects connective tissues such as skin, joints, and blood vessels.
In its severe form, vascular Ehlers-Danlos can cause the walls of blood vessels, intestines, or uterus to rupture.
Overly flexible joints, stretchy or fragile skin, and fatty lumps at pressure points are symptoms of the disorder.
There is a 50 percent chance children of parents with Ehlers-Danlos will receive the gene.
The disorder can cause frequent joint dislocation, and early-onset arthritis.
There is no cure for Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, but there are treatments available to help manage complications cause by the disorder.