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Resilient Ryan Newland: Watch inspiring story of teen cancer survivor

Orchard View senior was diagnosed with brain tumor in March 2023. Friends remained by his side, uplifting each other.

MUSKEGON — After his name was announced over the public-address system on senior night, Ryan Newland dashed down the third-base line, bearing down on home plate at the Orchard View High School baseball field and high-fiving teammates along the way.

The wiry 5-foot-11, 155-pound Newland dove head first toward home plate. It may not have been the most graceful head-first slide you’ll ever see. When he got to his feet, teammates greeted him behind home plate with more high-fives amid a cloud of dust.

It was a beautiful scene, one marking triumph in so many ways.

Newland, an 18-year-old Orchard View senior, is a cancer survivor.

On March 3, 2023, the laid-back and fun-loving son of Maribeth Richards and Jeff Newland was diagnosed with a brain tumor a little smaller than the size of a baseball near his brain stem. This April, he received the news that he’s in complete remission.

Prior to and during his cancer battle, Newland suffered some serious injuries and underwent procedures to save his life. He had a collapsed lung twice and tore the ACL, MCL, and meniscus in his knee. He’s also had chest surgery for a pectus bar, as his chest was collapsed on his heart.

According to Newland, he even flat-lined.

However, his story is one of resilience. His story is uplifting — he’s never given up on himself, nor have his friends given up on him.

Newland admits, he’s not the world’s best baseball player. A corner infielder for the Cardinals, he’s not even close to that on his own team. But he’s a winner in the game of life.

Newland will walk with the Class of 2024 during the commencement ceremony on Sunday (June 2) at Orchard View High School. In the future, he intends on pursuing a career in construction trades.

Before that, he and his Cardinals baseball teammates play in a Michigan High School Athletic Association Division 2 district today (June 1) at nearby Oakridge High School. Orchard View (14-20) is a heavy underdog in this morning’s 11 a.m. district semifinal matchup against Spring Lake (26-9), but if you’ve walked in Newland’s shoes, you never lose hope and savor these moments with those close to you.

Watch the video at the top of this story to learn about Newland’s inspirational journey. See the photos below, which also go a long way in illustrating Newland’s character and how much his teammates and coaches love him.

Photos by Scott DeCamp | CatchMark

Lead writer for CatchMark SportsNet and Web Services leader for CatchMark Technologies.



  1. Barbara stordahl jones

    June 2, 2024 at 1:48 am

    Proud of you Ryan loved listening to the article congratulations on graduating
    The stordahl family

  2. Cathy Strate

    June 11, 2024 at 5:27 pm

    Congratulations on graduating and for sharing your cancer battle. You’re amazing and inspirational, especially to those fighting the cancer battle (4th stage metastatic bone cancer), 10 months in and fighting! God bless and may your remission be everlasting!

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