Ryan Gray, the Lawrence boy adopted several years ago as the Kansas Jayhawk basketball team's unofficial mascot, needs a little help from his friends.
Gray, a 17-year-old who was born with a brain tumor, is in the neurosurgical intensive care unit at Kansas University Medical Center in Kansas City, Kan.
"He needs a bit of the Jayhawk good-luck charm himself now," Ryan's father, Dr. Captain Gray, said Wednesday.
"He was the good luck charm under (basketball Coach) Larry Brown, at least that's what he was fondly noted to be. He needs some good luck of his own," Gray said.
In the hearts of many people, Ryan has been one of the Jayhawk's biggest fans. He has traveled with the team to road games and attended many home games. During games, he has held a Jayhawk musical keychain and called it a "hex machine."
Gray said his son has basically overcome the disability engendered by the brain tumor, but in the past few weeks developed problems that required neurosurgery.
After surgery a week ago, Ryan encountered additional complications. He has made some progress in the past couple of days, but remains in critical condition.
"He's awake and he's on a ventilator machine," Mr. Gray said. "He's aware of his surroundings, so he would benefit from some cards or some well-wishes."
Cards or letters can be mailed to Ryan at the Neurosurgical Unit, Bell Memorial Hospital, KU Medical Center, 39th and Rainbow, Kansas City, Kan., 66103.