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Tennessee Vols Help Surprise Hospitalized Teen After Cancer Diagnosis Delays Freshman Year

October 20, 2022
Southern Living, Meghan Overdeep

Ryan Beihoffer was accepted to his dream college, the University of Tennessee, and was on track to attend with his girlfriend and best friend when his life took a turn. During his senior year of high school, severe back pain revealed itself as leukemia.

The teen, hospitalized for life-saving treatment, watched from afar as his friends graduated from high school and as college began this fall.

"It's drained his morale quite a bit, initially," Ryan's father Jess told Local 3 News. "Being an 18-year-old kid, being confined to a hospital is probably one of the roughest parts of the treatments, so far."

That's when Little Wishes decided to step in and bring a little bit of college to Ryan. As the non-profit was hunting for Vols swag for Beihoffer, The VolShop, UT's official campus store, decided to pitch in some extra gifts.

Last month, volunteers presented Ryan with a Tennessee flag, socks, a shirt, and a Hendon Hooker jersey.

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