FORSYTH COUNTY, N.C. — Students at West Forsyth High School are using social media to encourage people around the world to pray for an ailing friend battling cancer.
Ryan Wood is a 16-year-old battling Burkitt Lymphoma, an aggressive cancer of the lymphatic system.
Doctors diagnosed him last spring and told him last week that the cancer had spread and he only has a few weeks to live.
After hearing the news, Wood’s friends took the power of prayer to social media by wring prayers via Twitter using the hashtag #prayforryan.
They now have people around the world praying for their friend including NBA star and Forsyth County native Chris Paul.
Jake Still is close friends with Wood. Still said if there is anything he could do for his ailing friend it would be to get others to pray for him.
Still said he has received Twitter messages from various places including Australia, New Zealand and England.
“He is always just a good kind guy I’ve never seen him mad,” Still said of Wood. “It just hurts me so much to see him go through all this.”
Still said Wood has inspired him every single day of his life since being diagnosed. He said he believes the power of prayer brings people together.
“I’ve had people tell me like… ‘I have never prayed before but I’m praying for Ryan,’ … it’s bring people here closer together,” Still said.
Still said he and his friends are also raising money to help Wood’s family pay for bills.
Those friends say they have also contacted the Make-A-Wish Foundation who is planning on sending Wood and his family to Key West in the coming days.