Ok, so everyone wants to know how the show went..
Aaron did some amazing stuff. Playing songs like Everything Changes, Something Like Me, Falling, Schizophrenic Conversations, Outside, Right Here, So Far Away, Zoe Jane, that's most of the Staind stuff he did.. He also did some covers of Pearl Jam, Black Sabbath, Pink Floid (Comfortably Numb which will be on the greatest hits,) Led Zepplin, and a few others.
It was an awesome show, and Aaron both with Staind and without is never a disappointment.
I've been listening to Aaron for years now, he's saved my life. I've literally had knivves, bottle of pills, ETC in my hand, and his lyrics have always stopped me from taking my life.
I finally got to tell him that he's saved my life at the show he did at LongMedow High School (Which was the show on Saturday.). I came up from college just to see him, and I definitely had a night to remember..
I had $60 seats with my friend, and they decided to give us backstage passes for free. I'll never be able to thank the staff that work their enough, but it was truely amazing.
The show was awesome, but twoards the end I began to get anxious about meeting Aaron..
I've met him before in Connecticut at a Staind show. I met all the band members there, and I got there autographs. It was a quick thing though, and they went down the line of people very quickly. This time I actually got an autographed poster, that was made out to me personally. I asked Aaron if I could talk to him for a minute, and he said he'd gladly talk to me after he was done signing.
I waited around for about an hour, and I went back in. I got to hear Vanessa (his wife) speek also, which was truely amazing.
I shook Aaron's hand again, and took a picture with him. He put his arm around me, and I did the same.. Aaron's such a cool guy, and just knowing that he took the time to talk to me, and took a picture was something that I'll always remember.
He also amazingly enough remembered my face from the first time I met him, which just floored me because I only saw him for no more than five seconds.
I told him how he's saved my life, and or most of the stories I had... Most noteable was probably the time I had a knife to my head, and I was going to stab myself.. I thought of Waste, and through the knife across the room. I always live on, and try to make all the shit I've been through possitive. My life has been nothing but shit, but I can honestly say if there was no Aaron Lewis, there'd be no me.
He squeezed my hand, and told me he was glad I didn't kill myself, and that the world was a better place with me here. That sent chills down my spine that I'll never be able to describe for as long as I live. I'm blind, so I obviously couldn't see his face, but God... I wish I could've.
It was just an awesome night, and I got two autographs. The poster, and the VIP pass I got just for showing up. I can't stress what a great guy Aaron is, and I can never explain what he means to me. I know every word to his songs, and I memorized the track listing for every CD he's ever released. There isn't a bad Staind song that exists, and Aaron solo is never a disappointment.
There was always one thing I wanted to do, and that was tell Aaron how he's kept me here for years. I finally got to do it, and it's changed something about me forever.. I feel like I've finally accomplished something.
My friend Ray, who is also in this group, was also a huge part of making this happen. If it wasn't for him hearing about this show on the radio, I would've never went. Ray, I know you know this already sort of, but I'm going to tell you again.. You really made a dream come true for me by bringing me to see Aaron, and I know the VIP passes were just luck, but it was still all you.. (I love ya man.)
I can never tell all the things Aaron's helped me through, but I've pasted some of my writings both new and old so you can all see what a crazy road I've had.
People ask me, "How can one musician have such an impact on your life?" Well, read on, and you'll find out.

1. A memorable moment is different for everyone. It can be a moment you remember because it made you sad, happy, sick, or it may have changed your life forever. I can't say I have too many moments I like to remember, for my life has been a bumpy road from the second I was brought on to this Earth. One thing that always haunts me though, and probably always will is my battles with cancer. Every time I have something going for me, cancer seems to come back and strike me down again. This has happened to me so many times, and it’s made me realize that anything can change at the blink of an eye. Something can always go wrong, so I try not to get too happy with any positive things that may happen in my life.

My first battle with cancer began when I was two years old. It might have been a little earlier, but I don't really remember it all too well. I was a perfectly healthy baby, but as I neared the age of two, I began bumping into things. My mom found this very strange, so she took me to the doctor.
The doctor informed her that I had retina blastoma in both eyes, and it was in the very late stages. The cancer had spread to my back, where the doctor had found three tumors. It was predicted that I had about six months to live.

Over the course of the next three to five years, I went through hell over and over again. I had a Bone Marrow transplant, Chemo Therapy treatments that almost killed me themselves, and even some radiation. I made it through all this, and overcame everyone’s expectations. I was completely healthy again by the age of eight. It's really unbelievable now that I look back on it.

Being in constant fear of dying at any second from age two to age seven, losing my hair, losing my sight, are just a few of the things I had to deal with. Bone Marrow transplants are very intense. I had to wear all kinds of things when I went anywhere, or when I touched anything. Gloves, masks, gowns, special shoes, hats, I was covered from head to toe. I was the third person in the US to survive the type of treatment they gave me, and I have to say that's quite an experience.
I had a lot of losses, and I over came a lot of odds. It's great to look back on that, and know that I survived it all. I had no idea that my battles with cancer were far from over though.

Being healthy for about seven/eight years and reaching heights in my life I never dreamed of, cancer returned again. At the age of 15, I was living a "normal," or close to normal life at high school. I was a natural athlete, wrestling champion, and had lots of confidence. Sports were my dream, and I wanted to take them out into the world. I was also very intelligent, and I was always on the honor role. Like being a healthy baby, this would soon change.

I was always into wrestling as a kid, but never took it up as a hobby. When I did though, I was a star. One of the best wrestlers my school had ever seen, and I was the champion for two years straight. I also took up other sports such as track, Goal ball, and swimming. I was an all-star in all of them, but none of them would ever mean as much to me as wrestling did.

One day during wrestling practice, I fell on my right knee pretty hard. It was something I'd normally get up like nothing from, but a pain that I've never felt before shot through my leg. I had to stop, and I laid on the matt for about 45 minutes unable to move. When I finally got up, I went right to the clinic in my school. They told me they thought it was a pulled muscle, but being an athlete for so many years, I knew it was much more than that. I returned to the nurses and doctors several times, only to be shot down. I was always a kid who didn't complain about anything, but the one time I did, they didn't listen to me. They didn't allow me any x-rays, or anything.

I continued on for about four months, until February break finally came around. At this point I couldn't walk, and there was a lump on the back of my knee about the size of a baseball. My mom rushed me to the emergency room, where they took several pictures of my knee. They informed me that I had another tumor, and the cancer was again in late stages.
This cancer was called "osteosarcoma," and it was common for people to get this case of bone cancer after having retina blastoma. It wasn't guaranteed that I'd have it, but unfortunately I did. It may have not been as bad if my school had listened to my complaints, but that's only something I can look back on now.

I went through several more Chemo treatments, and I had to have my knee replaced. They luckily got all the cancer out, but they ended up having to take a good amount of muscle from my leg. When they replaced my knee with titanium, my leg would never be the same. I almost didn't make it out of surgery because they accidentally used soap on me that I am highly allergic to. I had a severe Asthma attack in my sleep, and I lost so much blood on the operating table I had to have four blood transfusions in the operating room. The surgery took seven plus hours.

After the surgery, The Chemo treatments themselves almost killed me this time around. The specific type of Chemo I was getting made my blood counts drop to the floor. It was predicted again that I wouldn't make it. I had to have a lot of blood transfusions, and also had to receive platelets because my platelet count dropped as well. I went through this for almost a year.

I had to learn how to walk all over again, and I lost my ability to be the athlete I used to be. The doctor told me I shouldn't wrestle, but I had to attempt to go back one more time. Going against doctors orders, I returned to the matt once more. I pinned my first opponent in five seconds, and I was up and running again. I'm a strong believer in things happen for a reason, and I sprained my Ankle very badly right before a state tournament. After that, I called it quits because I just took that as a message to stop. I couldn't do it anymore, unless I wanted to risk major injury to myself. I stay away from it now; I can't even watch a wrestling practice because I wish I was out there.. I watch it on TV sometime, and that still kills me because that's what I wanted to do. Wrestling will always be my life, and it will always be my dream. I was going to go pro, but this knee injury changed that forever.

Cancer actually returned a third time, but they got to it quick enough. It was in my ribs on my left side, and I had to have part of my bottom rib on my left side removed. I was very thankful that I didn't have to go through another battle with cancer.

During the final stages of my recovery, I lost my mother. She died from a severe Asthma attack; she smoked a lot. I promised myself I'll never smoke because of this, and I still have never done it. My mom said before she died, that she wanted to be alive to see me make it. I'm very thankful that she made it to see me survive. Of course I wish she was still here everyday, but there's no bringing her back. I've gotten this belief that every eight years something bad happens to me. I'm almost 22 years old, and I'm dreading my 24th birthday. This may be a fear, something that's just been programmed into my head because all I've been through, but it's a fact that every eight years something happens. I can only imagine the losses I'll have to deal with if something happens again.

Cancer will always haunt me. It does everyday; not a day goes by that I don't think of everything it’s taken from me. My whole life has changed because of it, and I'll never be the person I used to be. I've learned a lot from my experiences though, and you can only deal with what life gives you. I'll be the first to admit that I dwell on my past everyday, but I need to get over it eventually.

My past affects the way I act every single day. I used to be very outgoing, talkative, and always had something to do or say. Now, I clam up, I'm very shy, my confidence is always on the floor, and I feel as if I have nothing to look forward to. There's always something bothering me, whether it be the way I walk, the way I look, my loss of vision, I'm always dwelling on something. I'm a man in my own little world, and I hate it.

2001 was the worst year I'll probably ever have in my life. It was the year I learned that no matter how good you have it, there's nothing guaranteeing it's going to stay that way. It was the year that I really realized everything that had happened to me, and everything I've lost. Dealing with experiences such as these, can change a person's whole outlook on life. I've developed a strong passion for helping others now, and it's the career I'm hoping to take up. Being the only person from my family that has attended college, I'm stribing once again for success. I can only hope that this adventure in my life doesn't get ruined like the others have.

2. Some ramblings about my High School from a few years back:

Hi, I've attended this school for 6-7 years now, and it's been far from the best thing in my life. When I first came, I was placed in Lower School for some
strange reason that I still don't know of to this day. When I got to Secondary, things started happening. I gained confidence in myself from sports such
as, wrestling, and Goal Ball, and Track. I was a star, a leader, or "the best." On all those teams, I was unstoppable, but that would soon change. The
only thing I really liked about Perkins to this day is sports. It kept me from dropping out amazingly enough? *smile* Anyways, I got hurt in Wrestling,
and told the nurse who now mind you is nurse manager, and her name is Debbie. I told her something was wrong. She thought it was a pulled muscle, but I
knew it wasn't. Being a athlete for so many years, I know what a pulled muscle is. They don't think of it that way of course. I kept going back and back,
but just to get told the same thing. Finally, after four months, Febuary break was here, and my mom, who is now dead, rushed me the emergency room. It
was discovered that I had a tumor on my right knee. Perkins knew that I was supposed to be under close watch, for I have already had cancer once wich is
the cause of my loss of vision. They didn't pay attention; however, and look where I wound up? Fighting Cancer for a second time. I want to sue perkins
so badly because I believe I deserve something for what they did to my life. Sports were really my dream, and they were going to take me out in to the
world. That dream was shattered when I had to learn how to walk again, and many other things that just make me disgusted because everything I had to go
threw rehab for was and still is Perkins fault. I still Wrestle because I love it so much, and I am really putting myself at risk by doing it, but I don't
care. The same goes for Goal Ball. I may not be the player I was, but I'm still here to enjoy it. This is only one of the many issues I've had with Perkins,
but I've written enough for now I think. (smile) I will definitely post again. For anyone who wants to get to know me, I will leave some contact information:
Email, staindaddict@juno.com Chat programs: MSN, same as Email, AIM, conroy1284, and Skype, goldberg454 Feel free to call me, or add me to your contacts.
I love talking to people and helping them. Because of all of the shit I've been threw in and outside of Perkins, I've developed a strong interest in helping
others. Hope to hear from some of you, Ryan C.

OK, wrestling tournament weekend, can't go. Why? At the last minute I spraigned my ankle. This has nothing to do with Perkins, but if you think about it
deeply, it does. All the way back if I didn't have to where the stupid brace I do when I wrestle, and stuff like that. Again, Perkins fault for my knee.
I'm beginning to think of myself as a some what fallen champion. Once was the best, and now am transfered to the worst. This is my oppinion of corse, and
a lot of people tell me it is not true. It might not be, but It's Perkins who made me think this way.

3. Someone told me to write a letter about myself, and this is what I came up with:

Ryan Conroy


My name is Ryan Conroy. I was born in New Haven Connecticut on December ninth, 1984. I’m 21 years old, and this is my first year of college. My major is Psychology, and I hope to one day be able to help people with any type of problem they may have. I have had a very hard life, and I hate to see others have to see or go through the things I did. I try to do anything I can to prevent it. I’m a little shy when I first meet people, but once you get to know me, I can be pretty talkative.

Some things I love are reading and writing, music, watching movies, using the computer, chatting with people, and lots of other things that I'm not going to waste time writing down. I love the New York Yankees, and I have for most of my life. I'm sure that's clearly visible though from the way I dress. The biggest inspiration in my life is Aaron Lewis. He is the lead singer of the rock group Staind, and his lyrics have helped me through some very hard times, which you will read about below. If it wasn't for him, I wouldn't be here right now. I owe him everything I have, and I always wish there was someway I could thank him for what he's done.

I have one brother who is 30, and he has a son named Tyler. I also have a sister who is 27, and she has two children. I lost both my parents at an early age.. My father was in a serious car accident when I was eight, and my mother died when I was 16 from a severe Asthma attack. Since my mom’s death, my family has fallen apart, so I don’t have much of a family. It’s just something I have to deal with though, and I don’t let it stop me.

I’m visually impaired because I had cancer when I was two years old. Between the ages of two and eight, I had a lot of medical issues. These included, the cancer I mentioned above, a Bone Marrow Transplant, several surgeries, and lots of things I can’t even remember. I was lucky to survive cancer once, but I had know idea it’d be back a second time.

During high school, I was an athlete. I was a wrestling champion, Goalball all-star, and track All-star. I also played Baseball. I never let my lack of vision stop me from anything, and sports were my dream. I was going to be a professional wrestler, but at the age of 16 when I was headed the right way with everything, cancer decided to return.
I had to have a knee replacement in my right knee, and this caused a huge turn of events in my life. I had to learn how to walk again, and dealing with the fact that my right leg would never be the same was not easy. I still have a difficult time dealing with it to this day.

Psychology was my second choice for a career, for as mentioned above, I love helping people. I can’t stand people going through hard times, and I do anything I can to prevent it. At the age of 21, I’ve gone through things people in there 40’s haven’t yet. This is not fair, but I’ve learned a lot from it. Sometimes I feel like I know it all, and I’ve seen it all. This is not true, for no one knows or has seen it all, but it could be a good feeling sometime. Sometime it could also be dreadful.

My past affects me deeply. I've had a lot of losses, and that's the reason I'm so quiet, shy, and kind of spaced out half the time. I hope to meet a lot of new people though, and put my past behind me. I'm the only member of my family who has attended college, and I hope to make something out of it. I constantly strive for success, no matter what's standing in my way. Don't be afraid to talk to me because once you get to know me, all this stuff seems like nothing. Again, as said before, it takes me awhile to open up to people, but once I do, you'll always have a friend in me. I'm always here to listen to anyone, always here to talk, and always here to help. I love to write, so I hope to have fun in this class.

Well, this is really all I can think of to say about myself. If you have any questions for me, or want to get to know me more, don't hesitate to ask me anything, or talk to me.

Take care all,

Ryan C.

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Comment by Staind413 on February 21, 2009 at 8:09pm
wow ryan. between the lengthlyness and my a.d.d., i think it took me an hour to read this. you truly are a survivor, if anyone is. i think we used to talk and exchange staind songs through your msn goldberg454 account quite a while back. i just wanna say, i think you are a pillar of strength and an actual walking miracle. a true blessing. and that i'm so glad you're still here. welcome to staind.com ryan. it's about time......
Comment by nadine on February 19, 2009 at 6:56pm
ryan, thanks for sharing your story... what an amazing life, and even if at times it seems unfair, someday you'll understand the reasons for your struggles. i wish you continued health, wealth and happiness and may you fullfill anything your heart desires. if you ever need a friend (one who shares the 7 year cycle instead of 8) shoot me an email... i too only want to help people through the lessons i learned in the craziness i call my life... i figure that's why i got all this craziness to begin with. :)
Comment by kathy on February 19, 2009 at 5:09pm
Thank you for sharing your story with us. You have been through more in your short lifetime than most of us go through in our entire lives. Please continue to keep us updated!
Comment by SteFanie on February 19, 2009 at 3:10pm
WOW Ryan. Thats all I can say. I read your post from top to bottom. Puts some things in perspective for me as well as I'm sure it will for others. You are truely something...to go through what you went through and still keep that head up. I'm glad that your dream to meet/talk to Aaron came through in the manner it did. It's nice to hear from fans who can share how that one simple moment made such a difference in their life.

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