Community helps Barrington coach and his family

Sandy Gorham's son, Ryan, awaits another kidney transplant

BY MANUEL C. “MANNY” CORREIRA
Posted 4/1/20

The Gorham family is hoping for some good luck to come their way.

Ryan Gorham, a son of Sandy and Maura (Sweeney) Gorham of Barrington, is in need of another kidney transplant. The 31-year-old who …

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Community helps Barrington coach and his family

Sandy Gorham's son, Ryan, awaits another kidney transplant

Posted

The Gorham family is hoping for some good luck to come their way.

Ryan Gorham, a son of Sandy and Maura (Sweeney) Gorham of Barrington, is in need of another kidney transplant. The 31-year-old who was a standout athlete at East Providence High School on the football, swim and tennis teams has battled a kidney disease for many years.

A GoFundMe account has been set up to help the family meet mounting financial expenses.

Thanks to good friend and former Barrington High School swimming great Audrey Couto McClelland, the fund got off to a great start and now is within reach of its $30,000 goal.

Audrey organized the fund-raiser via Facebook several weeks earlier.

As she announced, “Have you ever had a coach or teacher impact your life? Here's your chance to give back to those who have.”

Ryan’s father is the legendary former East Providence High School football coach and current Barrington High football, swim team, and softball coach, Sandy Gorham, a man who’s well known throughout the East Bay and beyond.

Ryan has been fighting ill heath for a number of years. Coach Gorham painstakingly has had to deal with his son’s uncertain future while teaching and coaching at the same time.

It hasn’t been easy for either father or son, but somehow, life has gone on in the Gorham household.

As Audrey McClelland explained, “Many of us have been impacted someway, somehow by Sandy Gorham throughout the years. Whether it be at school, on the field, at the pool, or on the sidelines. He's been an incredible coach, teacher and mentor for hundreds and hundreds of kids. He asks for nothing in return, which has always been the true gift of who Sandy is for so many.”

“Many of us have had people come into our lives at some point who have made an impact,” she continued, “the kind of impact that changed your life for the better and pushed you to be better. Sandy Gorham (my high school swim coach and now - coincidentally, my son William's, too) had that kind of impact on me. I know he has impacted hundreds and hundreds of kids throughout the years as a football coach, swim coach, softball coach, teacher, pool director, and in so many other ways. I urge you to do what you can to help out his son Ryan right now. In some way, shape or form we've all (hopefully) had a Sandy in our lives along the way. And if you do know Sandy, please share this with anyone you know who he has impacted. Let's help out.”

Even during recent football and swim team interviews, you can read between the lines when the Coach talks about his teams’ strategy while worrying about what his son will have to go through next.

According to Ms. McClelland, “Ryan is currently waiting to get a kidney transplant. As many people know, Ryan was born with polycystic kidney disease (PKD). Throughout the years, he has undergone over 37 surgeries, including a kidney transplant in 2003 and a liver transplant in 2011. Ryan's kidney is failing and he has been moved to the top of the national registry. At a moment's notice, he would need to go wherever the doctor needs him to be for the transplant.

“As you can imagine,” said Audrey, “the financial cost can be quite high. In addition to the astronomical out of pocket medical expenses, there's additional costs of travel/lodging as well. Please show the Gorham family some love and support if you can right now.”

Through all of this, Ryan remains positive, especially what’s going on with the GoFundMe online fund-raising effort. He also has tremendous family support from his mom and dad and two younger brothers, John and Luke.

“It’s flattering to say the least,” he says.” It’s humbling and I feel fortunate that people are able to help even with what’s going on in the world today.”

Audrey McClelland has been a special person in all of this as she continues her crusade to help her friend and former coach.

“I’ve always known Ryan since he was a young child,” she said, “but I’ve known Sandy even longer. He’s not only a great coach, but a special person. He’s helped so many kids. Now, it’s time for us to give him a helping hand.”

She continued, “Sandy was overwhelmed by the response so far. To see the wave of people who have reached out is phenomenal. People just want to help. I think it’s a beautiful thing to come together to help a coach. He has helped so many kids.”

The GoFundMe page continues to do wondrous things for this amazing family. Hopefully, things will get a little better for Ryan, who has certainly been faced with a lot of adversity throughout his young life.

For more information, go to: GOFUNDME.COM.

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