Dalton hobby, game store closes to customers so cancer survivor can enjoy a shopping spree
Ryan Perdomo walked into The Battlegrounds Games and Comics store in Dalton with two big reasons to smile.
First, he’d just been given $1,000 to spend at the store. The owners partnered with Dreams and Wishes of Tennessee to give Ryan, 19, a shopping spree. They closed the business for two hours so Ryan could have the store all to himself.
The other reason Ryan was smiling? He’d just received news that he was cancer-free.
“It’s like my Ryan is back. His eyes are alive. You can actually see shimmer in them. He has energy. He’s up and about. It’s like my old Ryan is back,” his mom, Pam Perdomo, said.
It’s been a rough 10 months for the mother and son from Cleveland.
During Ryan’s freshman year of college last year at the University of Tennessee, he began experiencing pain in his knee.
“He was home from college for fall break. He was just walking up the stairs. It was a regular old day, and he heard a snap in his left leg and felt immediate pain,” Pam explained.
Tests revealed Ryan had Ewing Sarcoma, a form of bone cancer.
The mother and son spent the next 10 months driving back and forth to Nashville so Ryan could receive care at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital.
He had chemotherapy, surgeries and blood transfusions. He spent 96 days in the hospital and made eight trips to the emergency room.
Three weeks after finishing his treatment, Ryan received good news.
Tests showed he was cancer-free.
Ryan and Pam said the shopping spree “meant the world to them” and came at the perfect time.
When the business owners heard about Ryan, they said they were eager to do something to help.
“I just felt like we had been blessed with success with our business. It was a way of us giving back and saying thank you,” co-owner Michael Gunter said.
“We are all affected somehow by cancer in our lives whether it’s us or a family member or friend,” co-owner Jason Mathis told Channel 3.
The Battlegrounds Games and Comics is locally owned and has been in Dalton for six years. The store is located at 2708 Airport Road.
Ryan plans to return to college and hopes to practice medicine in the future.