Passionate About Des Moines
and the Moms Who Live Here

Granger Motors #Mominate Winner: Cheryl Ryan


Thirty-eight well-deserving moms were nominated for the Granger Motors #Mominate $1,000 Visa gift card contest.

It was a very tough decision and all the nominees deserve a reward, but it was narrowed down to one.

Drum roll, please…

Meet, Cheryl Ryan.

Cheryl and her husband, Joe wanted to raise their two boys, Jack and Ben, in Iowa since they both grew up there. They were drawn to Des Moines to be closer to family.

Granger Motors #mominateWhen they added their second son, Cheryl wondered, as many moms do, how she would “share” her love with a second child, but she was surprised at how flawless the transition was. Ben has and continues to bring pure joy to their lives. 

Cheryl’s biggest joy is watching her kids experience so many of life’s moments for the first time. Whether it’s their first smile, laugh, walking, or experiencing new places. The joy of watching your toddler jump-up and down with excitement when you walk in the door after a long day, cuddling next to them reading while they fall asleep, truly there is no descriptor to describe the true feeling of joy motherhood brings you – as mamas, you know.

Cheryl was nominated for the Granger Motors #Mominate $1,000 Visa gift card contest by her friend, Lindsey, because she is something no mom ever wants to be…the mom of a child fighting cancer.

Ben was born with retinoblastoma (a random gene mutation causing malignant cancer in the retina of his eyes). It is fatal, if it is not caught early and treated immediately. 

Ryan family Granger Motors #mominate winner

Ben was diagnosed when he was 7 1/2 weeks old, after Cheryl’s “mother’s intuition” told her something was not right. Their amazing physician, Dr. Secory, who the Ryans feel is the true hero, saw the signs of something incredibly rare (there are only 200-300 cases in the U.S. each year). 

Now, at only 15 months old, Ben has received 7 sessions of chemotherapy, 8+ sessions of laser and/or cryotherapy surgery, 30+ blood tests, 3 MRIs, and at least 15 exams under anesthesia. He began his fight in Iowa City and since October 2016 has been flying to New York every 4 to 7 weeks to see the medical team at Memorial Sloan Kettering, a world-renowned hospital for retinoblastoma. 

Several of Ben’s most recent exams show “clear” scans, and the Ryans are celebrating each tiny victory!

Ben’s vision is strong in one eye as well! He will continue to have exams and possible treatment until he is at least 6 years-old. They hold on to hope that things will remain stable.  

Cheryl realizes this is not a typical story, and as a mom, there isn’t a day that goes by that she doesn’t wish she could make all of this go away for her sweet Ben.

She knows the pain of being in the doctor’s office and truly fearing what they are about to say, monthly hospital stays half-way across the country, endless research, and countless sleepless nights. She will tell you this has taught their family to love more, create joy, stop to listen, and to always, always be in the moment and live for today.

This journey of motherhood has given Cheryl strength she didn’t know she had. Everyone is fighting a hard battle, every mama has a “story,” and we’re all in this journey together. 

When Cheryl reflects on the past year, she says the hardest part of motherhood is not being able to fix all of your children’s problems yourself. Although they will never face them alone, as a mom you want to be able to make everything better. 

Cheryl’s biggest challenge was enduring the unimaginable, the single thought that their baby might not make it. The Ryans couldn’t have made it through this year without the support of family, friends, coworkers, and the Des Moines community. Everyone came together like they never imagined.

This journey is far from over, but it’s amazing what a mom can do, what she can get through with the power of support.

The Ryans are overwhelmed with gratitude to Granger Motors and the Des Moines Moms Blog community. They plan to use the $1,000 Visa gift card for upcoming travel costs to New York, medical costs, and to help with every day expenses. They also promise to use the money to have some long overdue fun. They say this is perfect timing for their family. Being homebound for close to a year, they have missed many everyday experiences like exploring local parks, the pool, zoo, and everything Des Moines has to offer! #BenSTRONG


Get to Know Granger Motors

Why this giveaway? 

Zach Westrum, co-owner of family owned Granger Motors, became a father this past spring. Growing up in a large family (seven kids!), he has witnessed first hand the sacrifices a mother makes for her family. This giveaway was a way for him to acknowledge all the countless hours of hard work mothers give to their families. #mominate

About Granger Motors

Granger Motors is a family-owned business and part of the Iowa Auto Dealers Association. An Italian family started the business in 1918.

Granger Motors has been located in Granger for close to 100 years. From its humble beginnings it has grown to serve most of the Des Moines area as well as customers outside of the state of Iowa.

Tim Westrum, the current owner, purchased the business in the 1980s with the hope that Granger Motors would be a dealership known for honesty and integrity. The team at Granger Motors is not perfect but they work tirelessly to achieve a straightforward reputation that closely mirrors the principle of the Golden Rule.

Granger Motors’ recipe for success has not changed since the 1980s, whether a customer chooses to do business with them or not, they want everyone they come in contact with to feel like they were treated right.

Granger Motors does not ever want to become the biggest Dodge, Jeep, Ram, Chrysler, or Ford dealership out there, but they would like to be known as the best. That is their goal and they hope you benefit from the Granger Motors Difference!

A team of professional, fun, and friendly employees is the secret to Granger Motor’s success. Their dealership is different in that their employees enjoy a long average tenure at the dealership and enjoy working in a family environment. The passion and dedication that each employee invests is a vital part to the overall dealership success and what keeps our loyal customers coming back.

This giveaway was sponsored by Granger Motors.

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