Founder of Health Rising and Phoenix Rising
Ryan Prior the maker of The Forgotten Plague: A Documentary on ME/CFS is Prohealth's Advocate of the Year
“That year remains the most pivotal of my life. I am 25 years old now, but those initial trials at age 17 will likely remain the most profound and difficult of my entire life. That was the year when the foundations of my character were forged in a crucible of intense suffering and uncertainty. I developed a new type of wisdom. My knowledge that I somehow found a way to navigate those dark days feeds me through every other hardship I've ever faced. Everything pales in comparison to the horror of having to fight this disease.”"Ryan was not your average high school student. By his junior year, he was captain of his high school cross-country team, president of the student council and a participant in NASA's Student Launch Initiative – all while taking multiple advanced placement and honors-level courses. He had just returned from a summer in England where he studied writing and philosophy at Oxford University and had a poem selected for publication. An ambitious young man, he had his heart set on going to Princeton, Duke or West Point. He hoped to become an Army Ranger and ultimately pursue a career in writing.
Then on October 22, 2006, Ryan's life changed forever. “Something completely snapped,” he says, describing his abrupt introduction to ME/CFS. “By early November, I had withdrawn from high school completely. Teachers had to come to my house to teach me, sometimes by my bedside, provided I could hold my head up long enough for instruction, or stay awake long enough to finish a math test. I saw 16 doctors, none of whom had answers."