Nearly a decade after the tragic loss of his son, Kevin C. McCall released the book, For the Love of Family: How a Knock at the Door Changed Everything. The personal narrative details the unexpected loss of his youngest son, Ryan, a senior at the University of Tampa. McCall shares with readers his intimate and painful journey of losing a child and the importance of faith.
On August 19, 2009, McCall’s son was murdered during a robbery attempt after leaving a college party in Tampa. Ryan was working toward his degree in Allied Health and was a cross-country and track runner. He also served as a coach at Tampa Preparatory School, a school for grades six through 12 located directly across the street from the University of Tampa.
Patricia Lala Pupello, a licensed mental health counselor and contributor to McCall’s book, said, “Anyone—directly or indirectly—touched by such a tragedy will relate to the McCalls’ story and have a new depth of understanding of the courage, strength and perseverance of the human spirit and what it takes to prevail.”
The family keeps Ryan’s memory alive through the Ryan P. McCall Foundation, Inc., which carries out his vision of helping others and giving back to the community. The foundation honors Ryan’s life by hosting an annual charity run in April and a gala in February. The proceeds from these events support organizations like the Tampa Police Memorial Fund, C.O.P.S. (Concerns of Police Survivors) and the Children’s Cancer Center. Moreover, the foundation has given away 22 scholarships totaling more than $40,000 to both male and female student-athletes across Tampa Bay and Downingtown West.
“I cannot say why I chose to journal this experience,” said McCall. “I am not a writer and had never kept a diary before. Perhaps at some level, I thought that if I could see the words on paper, I could make sense of my situation. I could prove to myself that I was not losing my sanity.”
For more information on the foundation and Ryan’s Run, please visit www.ryanpmccall.com. For the Love of Family: How a Knock at the Door Changed Everything is available in hardcover and paperback at bookstores nationwide and online retailers such as Amazon.com.