Wednesday’s Woman: Joan C. Ryan

Today’s Wednesday’s Woman is Joan Catherine Ryan, author and counselor from New Hampshire. I met her and her son, also an author, at the 2014 New England Author Expo. Michael W. Schwartz writes the Ratarra Series.

Joan is appearing Saturday, the 20 September 2014 at Barnes & Noble, Manchester, New Hampshire at 10am.

Please spend a few minutes reading some important words from this wonderful woman and her cause. Here is Joan….


Like many women, I came down with breast cancer and survived. My baby granddaughter, Zoe, came down with brain cancer and is going through a grueling recovery process. Zoe’s web site offers updates on her and provides information on wellness.

We all know that not everyone survives this disease. My son, Eric, came down with glioblastoma, an aggressive and incurable form of brain cancer. He passed away, 20 April 2012. During his 41 years of life, he was an awesome demonstration of positive thinking and he led by example. He held us all to a much higher standard than we were/are comfortable with. To this day, his family members hold themselves accountable to Eric’s spirit in their daily decisions. I can think of no greater legacy.

profilepic1-300x225 Before he left us, Eric co-founded a company, studied International Relations, and served in the United States Air Force’s 52nd Fighter Wing. Although Eric was active in many areas, his chief passion was helping ‘first generation students’ – those kids who are first in their family to attend college — apply for, get accepted, and receive financial aid to attend college. He didn’t just talk the talk, he sat down with each student and guided them through the college application process, helped them produce all the necessary paperwork; he took the student on campus tours, applied for public and private scholarship monies. He also taught them how to study and learn their college courses. Eric stayed with his students as a mentor for support long after the acceptance letter.

Our family has created the Eric W. Schwartz Memorial Scholarship Fund, a $2,500 scholarship that solely goes to a first-generation student.

As Eric’s mother, it is important to me that his name, his passion and his spirit live on; that he is not forgotten. By purchasing an application or my book Scholarship Matters, A Parent’s Guide to College and Private Scholarships, you can help your own children or sponsor a student.


Please know that our entire family is grateful for all the love and support that you give, have given, us in our cancer-crisis lifestyle. You have buoyed us up beyond that which is humanly possible so that we can get through one more day with hope and confidence.

Joan’s web is here.

Home of M.W. Schwartz’s Ratarra Series.


About gabrielswharf

gabriel’s wharf is a blog on the random thoughts and writings of author Gabriel Valjan. His stories continue to appear online and in print journals. Winter Goose Publishing publishes his Roma Series.
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