Tennessee Vols Help Surprise Hospitalized Teen After Cancer Diagnosis Delays Freshman Year

Ryan was diagnosed with leukemia shortly after he was accepted to UT.

Ryan Beihoffer
Photo: Little Wishes

Ryan Beihoffer was accepted to his dream college, the University of Tennessee, and was on track to attend with his girlfriend and best friend when his life took a turn. During his senior year of high school, severe back pain revealed itself as leukemia.

The teen, hospitalized for life-saving treatment, watched from afar as his friends graduated from high school and as college began this fall.

"It's drained his morale quite a bit, initially," Ryan's father Jess told Local 3 News. "Being an 18-year-old kid, being confined to a hospital is probably one of the roughest parts of the treatments, so far."

That's when Little Wishes decided to step in and bring a little bit of college to Ryan. As the non-profit was hunting for Vols swag for Beihoffer, The VolShop, UT's official campus store, decided to pitch in some extra gifts.

Last month, volunteers presented Ryan with a Tennessee flag, socks, a shirt, and a Hendon Hooker jersey.

"The VolShop was excited to be a part of Ryan's wish!" a representative for the store said in a statement. "We are fortunate to be able to give back and make a difference for our community! We try to 'shadoweth oneself to give light to others.' (Torchbearer Creed) Go VOLS!"

Ryan is going to Saturday's game against UT Martin where he'll attempt to have his jersey signed by Hooker. He still in treatment, but hopes to finally attend UT in 2023.

Go Ryan!

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