CrankMafia is one of the bigger teams for 24 Hours of Booty, but that doesn’t mean that smaller participants are ineligible to join. The teams newest, and youngest, member is Buck Ranson, and he could not be more excited to finally hop on his bike to be a part of the event this year instead of watching from his front yard. It hasn’t been Buck’s age that has kept him from riding. When Buck was 18 months old, he arrived at the hospital with congestive heart failure and a hemoglobin of only two. His nurses were barely able to find a vein to check blood work, due to the fact that all the blood was rushing to his heart. Buck was diagnosed with ALL High Risk Leukemia that morning. No one knew how much of a warrior he was, as he started the battle of his life.
In the fall of 2009, Buck began his treatment at Blume Cancer Center. Treatment went well until a year and a half into his journey, when Buck relapsed in his central nervous system. This setback meant higher dose chemotherapy and radiation, and essentially living in the hospital. For almost five years, the Ranson family lived at the mercy of this horrible disease. To prevent infection, Buck was forced to live in a bubble, attempting to give him the safest environment. Such intense treatment at a young age meant that Buck missed out on having a normal childhood, hospitalized during what should have been many stages of development. The nurses and doctors at Blume became their family as they fought alongside many other families. Apart from Buck’s own battle, the family also had to struggle with losing many of their newly acquired friends along the way. Buck’s mother said her heart broke for the parents that lost their children to cancer, but this was not her first experience in seeing how the disease can affect families. She had a friend who lost a son to brain cancer years prior, and had once ridden with her in 24 Hours of Booty to show her support. Living on the Booty Loop, she said there is a candle lit in their window each year during the event to honor her friend’s son.
It’s unreal to think of a boy making sense of going through such trials at such a young age, but Buck overcame with vengeance. He was the Light the Night boy at the age of six, helping raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. He continued the path of philanthropy by participating in the Boy of the Year campaign to help raise money to fund cancer research. Knowing their son’s passion for giving back, they readily accepted when Buck’s dad was asked by a friend if he would like to participate on the CrankMafia team. Buck was psyched to ride his green bike alongside his dad.
Already famous for holding his lemonade stand during 24 Hours of Booty in past years, Buck’s team and family are excited to see how his experience is as a participant. When asked what Buck brings to the team, what comes to mind is hope, spirit, and perseverance. He is a ten-year old with a huge heart. He has attended Camp Care, a camp for kids that have or have had cancer, since the age of six and received the Spirit Award. The end of July, and the time in which 24 Hours of Booty takes place, the family will be celebrating being out of treatment and cancer free for five years. Despite all of the great work Buck has done, it should still be noted that the cancer journey has left its mark on him. He can get frustrated with school and everyday life, but he is catching up. He is putting together the pieces of his cancer journey, and 24 Hours of Booty is part of this process. The family shared that they are grateful to be a part of the 24 Foundation family and for how the event celebrates Bucks life while honoring the friends who have lost their battles along the way. Buck led the Survivor Lap at 24 Hours of Booty and is proud to be an example that others can follow.