Red Balloons for Ryan honors Ryan Saldana, 3, killed in California

May 8, 2014 2:10:46 PM PDT
The short life of a South Pasadena 3-year-old boy struck and killed in California is inspiring an outpouring of online support for his parents.

Ryan Cruz Saldana, the toddler with long, curly red hair, was struck and killed on Friday. An investigation is under way.

The child was hit at 6:18 p.m. near the intersection of Alta Loma Drive and Garnet Street. Paramedics pronounced Ryan dead at the scene. Police said he was struck by a white 2006 Dodge Ram pickup. Ryan was reportedly hit while retrieving a Frisbee in front of his cousins' house.

Ryan's parents, Dan and Jacqui Saldana, both 29, have received a great deal of support on social media in the ensuing days. Jacqui writes the blog Baby Boy Bakery, which includes recipes for sweet and stories about her time with Ryan.

"He keeps my life balanced and chaotic all at the same time," Jacqui says of Ryan on the blog's About page. "We love adventures and I use this blog to document our fun times, found treasures and serious mishaps. All in all we keep it real, and if you leave here with just a smile we have done our job right!"

Upon hearing of Ryan's death, fellow blogger Alissa Circle of Orange County, posted a blog about Ryan's death, originating the hashtag #redballoonsforryan, which has spread across all major social media platforms. A GoFundMe page set up for the family has also raised $45,000.

Circle's Diary of an Addict blog post encourages people to share Ryan's pictures across social media in his memory. Pictures can be found on Jacqui Saldana's Instagram feed.

"I promised her that Ryan would not be forgotten, we can make sure that doesn't happen," Circle said on her blog. "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.

Circle told the Pasadena Star she chose red balloons as a symbol for Ryan because he loved red and loved balloons, and that Saldana told Circle she wanted to release red balloons at Ryan's funeral.

"Jacqui and Dan, I love you with all my heart and my soul!" Circle continues. "I'm so sorry that you've had to endure this and I promise you that Ryan will not be forgotten. He will NOT! We will remember him, we will tell his stories and we will love you both through all of this!"


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