GRANDVILLE, Mich. (April 18, 2014) — The family of a Grandville High school student who died in his sleep last month is speaking to FOX 17 for the first time.
Ryan Fischer died unexpectedly of an enlarged heart, the same day he was set to lead his hockey team towards the goal of a state championship.
The family is now hoping to keep his memory alive by creating a scholarship fund. A fundraiser was held on Friday at Celebration Cinema inside the Rivertown Crossings Mall.
Scott and Ronnie Fischer said that they’ve been overwhelmed by the support of the Grandville community.
“A movie based on my life and what the title of it would be. I’d have to say ‘Ryan Fischer Defender of America’, you know that title just really popped out at me because I love America. A big patriot, that’s the biggest reason for me,” Ryan said in a recorded video that was played to the audience before the movie.
Friends and family held a fundraiser for the Ryan Fischer Scholarship Fund during a viewing of “Captain America: the Winter Soldier.”
“He liked to tell me that he was Captain America. So, coming and having a fundraiser at the Captain America showing, it means a lot,” said Ryan’s younger brother Connor.
For Scott and Roni Fischer, the weeks following their son’s unexpected death has been a struggle, but they said that they are finding strength from others.
“I will 100 percent tell you that it has been the love and support of our community here in Grandville, along with the grace of God for sure, and we like to all think a little help from Ryan. Actually, probably a lot of help from Ryan,” said Ryan’s mother Roni.
The family said that they’ve met hundreds of people since their son’s passing that have shared with them how Ryan touched their lives.
“We all knew what kind of son we had in Ryan. What’s been overwhelming is realizing the impact that he had on so many people that we did not even know,” said Roni.
Ryan Fischer died from an enlarged heart in his sleep, and was found on March 7th.
“It’s been rough. It’s been real rough. It sometimes feels like he should still be there, but you know he’s not, and it’s rough and it can only get better I guess,” said Connor.
The scholarship fund in his honor is something the family hopes encourages other students to work hard to reach their goals. The scholarship will go to students who demonstrate the same type of qualities as Ryan, such as excelling in both sports and academics. Ryan had been accepted to West Point Academy in Fall, and was the captain of his hockey team.
“We hope it inspires kids to live like Ryan, and that sounds cliché and it is, but again be the total package, you know yes the multi-sport athlete, the good student,” said Ryan’s father Scott.
The family said that since his death, they’ve also met with other parents who have lost their children to the same heart condition.
Click here if you would like to donate to the Ryan Fischer Scholarship Fund.