Awareness and money is being raised in honour of Ryan Cruz Saldana, a curly red-haired toddler who was tragically killed in a hit-and-run incident in California, while playing with a Frisbee in front of his cousin’s house last week. Only hours before, Ryan was visiting Disneyland with his family.
Tributes to the cheerful ginger three-year-old and his parents, Dan and Jacqui Saldana, have been pouring through, ever since Jacqui’s friend Alissa Circle posted a blog about Ryan’s death on Diary of an Addict, originating the viral hashtag #redballoonsforryan.
She said: I promised her [Jacqui] that Ryan would not be forgotten. We can make sure that doesn’t happen. We can use our voices for good. To tell a story of a little boy who loved life and his family, who laughed often, who loved to snuggle his mommy and daddy. And to tell the story of two parents who are loving each other strongly and beautifully through this tragedy, through this unexplainable loss.”
Aside from wearing Ryan’s favourite colour red, #redballoonsforryan encourages people to spread the word about Ryan, share photos, and to reach out to the family with support, as well as a GoFundMe page for the Saldana family, which was set up by Thrive Moms and has so far raised more than $50,000 in donations.
Police are calling for witnesses and are said to be looking for a white 2006 Dodge Ram pickup in connection with the incident.
[Images: Baby Boy Bakery / Instagram]