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Striking back

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Community rallies to help child fight rare cancer

By Christian Marnon

 Karate instructor Ryan Ginger of Frankfort Martial Arts knows grit when he sees it.

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His student Ryan Womack is a firsthand example. 

“When Ryan’s getting tired, he always finds a way to dig down deeper,” said Ginger of Ryan, who is battling a rare form of cancer. “I think his strength comes from his mom and dad, [Chad and Amy], and he’s a got a great example in them to copy their attributes.”

Ryan’s marital arts resume includes numerous awards at tournaments, among them a first place medal in sparring. 

But even the fiercest champions sometimes need an outside hand. 

Ginger was one of many who gathered for a fundraiser on the Lawrenceburg Green Saturday to help the Womacks offset medical costs.

Geri Sipe, a close friend, organized the event with the help of Patty Wolf. 

Recommended admission for the fundraiser, which included live music, a water-themed bounce house, a silent auction and other activities, was $10 per person and $50 maximum for a family of five or more.  

Some attendees were first responders who work directly with Amy, a paramedic, and Chad, a firefighter in Lexington and Anderson Counties. 

Josh McCoy, who’s worked with Chad for seven years at the Lexington Fire Department, collected get-well letters for Ryan from guests. 

“He’s a super kid, and it doesn’t surprise me he’s made the progress he has,” McCoy said. “He’ll bounce back real quick.” 

Although Ryan couldn’t attend the event on Saturday, he recuperated swiftly at the hospital after a major surgery.

Amy Womack provided an update with a Facebook post during the event. 

 “So everyone is working hard at Lawrenceburg Green today for Ryan, [but] he can’t be there due to being in the hospital recovering,” she said. ““[Ryan] just walked 50 feet, took his meds, drank his Boost and Sprite, and is sitting up in the chair!!! Amazing progress and [he’s] less than 72 hours out from major liver surgery!!”

As of Monday, he’s awaiting pathology results from the tumor removed during his surgery.