Motocrosser Making a Difference | Ryan Langille Gives…and Gives
By Billy Rainford
When I dug into the archives and posted an old photo of Nico Izzi, Mike Alessi, and Chad Reed from Press Day for Sick Kids Hospital at the 2009 Toronto Supercross, I had no idea I had uncovered a really nice, feel-good story.
Chase Langille is the one on the right of the photo with the mohawk and behind him is his twin brother, Ryan Langille. Chase saw the post and sent a message telling us that his brother donates stem cells to people who are in need of them. I thought that was a really cool thing to do, so I got in touch with Ryan to learn more, assuming he would be willing to talk about it. Fortunately, he was.
Alright, to start off, my name is Ryan Langille. I grew up in a small town called Leamington, Ontario, about 45 minutes south of Windsor. For as long as I can remember motocross has been a part of my life. My dad has always ridden dirt bikes so it always kept me and my brother interested in motocross. I didn’t get as deep into it as my brother, but I still ride.
When we were young, my brother was scrolling through the internet and saw a chance to get free tickets to the Toronto Supercross. It turned out to be a contest to raise money for Sick Kids Hospital. We ended up raising money for sick kids for 4 years. The last year is when that photo was taken.
Anyway, ever since then, it’s just been engrained into me that if I have the power to help someone to help them. So, when I got the call to be a stem cell donor it was a no-brainer to donate.
I know nothing of who I am donating to. I’ve had to have three blood tests to make sure I’m the best match for this person. So a person has a better chance of winning the lottery than being someone’s stem cell match. And the main way the check to see if someone is a stem cell match is through donating blood, which I do as often as they allow.
And there are two ways they can take your stem cells: One way is they put you under and go through your hips. The other way, and what they prefer to do, is they give you this medication that overflows your bones with stem cells and they leak to your blood. What they do is stick a needle in one arm, pull the blood, and then spin it really fast, pulling the stem cells from your blood and put it back into your other arm.
What a great story. I’m really glad posting that photo was the catalyst to connecting with a motocross rider doing good.
Thank you very much for sharing this story with us, Ryan. It’s an inspiration to read that there are people out there caring for others as much as you are.