Add To Favorites

Family of Fort Worth 6-year-old with cancer asks community for help celebrating birthday

Fort Worth Star-Telegram - 1/14/2022

Jan. 14—Rylan Pruitt, who turned 6 years old Friday, lives in Fort Worth and loves to dance. He's a fan of Spider-Man and dinosaurs on his T-shirts. He builds blanket forts with his mom and they make TikToks together.

And in May, Rylan will be one year into his fight against a brain tumor for which he's been treated at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. He and his parents, Marisa and Mike Pruitt, flew back home Friday.

He's been through 30 rounds of radiation treatment and undergone four months of chemotherapy as he and his doctors and family try to beat the cancer. Scans done Tuesday as his family packed to head home from St. Jude showed that Rylan's cancer has metastasized to his spine.

The prognosis isn't good, but his family says they will continue to fight.

But this weekend, instead of focusing on Rylan's continuing fight with that cancer, his family and friends are putting their attention on that birthday he had Friday. And they'd like help from their community.

His family has invited anybody who wants to help Rylan, nicknamed Beans by his family, celebrate his birthday to join with police, firefighters, paramedics and his neighbors in a parade on Saturday.

Anybody who wants to help bring a little cheer to Rylan's birthday can join them at 1350 Eagle Blvd. in Haslet, where everybody in the parade will be staging, by 1 p.m. From there, the parade will drive by Rylan's home with a police escort.

The family is also asking for prayers for their little TikTok star-in-the-making.

Rylan's mom manages his TikTok under the handle MarisaTexas89, where she posts updates about Rylan, like a picture slideshow with the caption, "Rylan isn't done fighting! Share his story and please pray!"

Most of the TikToks starring the 6-year-old show him in high spirits, dancing or playing with Legos.

But others document the pain and struggles both he and his mom go through as he undergoes treatment.

The family also keeps a blog of Rylan's journey on Facebook: Rylan Strong, Team Beans.

There, his mom and dad post live videos and announcements of progress. It's where they first on Jan. 4 announced the parade for Rylan, originally supposed to be a celebration of both his birthday and the victorious end of his fight with cancer.

That's where many of his supporters found out about the results of the scans, when Marisa and Mike Pruitt went live.

"You're gonna have to just give me patience through this one," Mike Pruitt said at the start of the announcement. "Mind the bad words and mind the anger and give me and his mom a little time this afternoon and let us process what we need to process."

He and Marisa Pruitt made an emotional call for continued support for Rylan and for them.

"First and foremost, if you're a prayer warrior, I have begged for prayers," Mike Pruitt said. "He needs them more than me."

Mike Pruitt said the scans were done as a routine precaution before Rylan could go home with clear results. But the scans showed the metastasized cancer on his spine, even after chemo and proton radiation therapy.

"It's unheard of," Mike Pruitt, a paramedic in Dublin, Texas, said of the cancer metastasizing at that point in the treatment. "He has stumped even his doctor. ... It's not good, and no 5-year-old deserves that."

While the prognosis is grim at this point, his family isn't giving up the fight.

"I refuse to give into ideals that are man-made because I know that there is only one person that can fix this, and even in the last shred of faith that I have I know, I know that it is still possible. What we do now doesn't matter. This is in God's hands."

His parents described Rylan as resilient and courageous, taking on more than Mike or Marisa Pruitt would ask of themselves.

"I refuse to believe that this is the end," Mike Pruitt said.

Rylan will have new scans done at the beginning of March, but his parents said Rylan deserves the month he'll have away from St. Jude to take a break.

Anybody wanting to show support who is unable to make it to Rylan's birthday parade can also donate to his GoFundMe,, set up by his grandmother and with funds going to his mom, or another fundraiser on that site for him,, organized by Servant Souls RCA and Cristy Williams, with funds going to his dad.

"I know there's some prayer warriors out there," Mike Pruitt said at the close of the livestream. "So please, if that's what you do, please do it. That's what we need. He's only 6, and he has brightened the world and nobody's ready to let him go."


(c)2022 the Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Visit the Fort Worth Star-Telegram at

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.