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In The Easy Chair: Ryan Noonan


AGE 31

OCCUPATION Greenskeeper at the Misquamicut Club, assistant basketball coach at Westerly High School, diabetes advocate and motivational speaker.

RESIDENCE Westerly.

BORN, RAISED & GREW UP IN Westerly.

FAVORITE WAY TO SPEND MY TIME Riding my bike or running.

PROUDEST ACCOMPLISHMENT Speaking at the American Diabetes Association’s “Call to Congress” in Washington, D.C.

WHAT I HOPE TO BE REMEMBERED FOR Showing children with Type 1 diabetes that when they grow up they can do anything that anyone living without diabetes can do.

TOP ITEM ON MY BUCKET LIST Being at the Tour De France when the Type 1 Diabetes cycling team, Team Novo Nordisk, competes.

ALWAYS IN MY POCKET Glucose tabs and my insulin pump.

WHAT I WANTED TO BE WHEN I GREW UP A meteorologist. I was that odd kid who’d watch the weather channel for hours on end.

PERSON WHO HAS INFLUENCED ME THE MOST My wife, Leanne. If not for her, I wouldn’t be here and I wouldn’t be doing any of the things I’m doing today. She deserves all of the credit for everything that I do.

FAVORITE AUTHOR Tom Brokaw.

LAST BOOK READ “The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich,” by William L. Shirer.

FAVORITE SONG “Sam’s Town,” by The Killers.

FAVORITE MOVIE “A Few Good Men.”

FAVORITE TV SHOW “Lost.”

FAVORITE PET Our dog Dusty. Amazing how a dog can save a life and a marriage.

FAVORITE FOOD Quinoa and mixed veggies.

AMOUNT OF TIME I SPEND A DAY ON FACEBOOK I have no idea, but I check it a lot during the day.

TRAIT I MOST ADMIRE Hard work.

PET PEEVE When a person believes that he or she cannot do something before even assessing the situation or trying.

FAVORITE QUOTATION “It’s not about what other people think of you, it’s what you know about yourself.” — Tom Cavanagh.

MY FAVORITE THING ABOUT OUR LITTLE CORNER OF THE WORLD How beautiful it looks when you’re on a bike going 20 mph. You can see so much more than when you’re in a car.

CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT Insulin.

LITTLE-KNOWN FACT ABOUT ME I’m a World War II enthusiast.

BEST ADVICE I’VE EVER RECEIVED Don’t ever let anyone tell you that you can’t do something.

ADVICE I BEST LIKE TO GIVE Follow your dreams. You’ll hear people say that you can’t, but if you put in the time and all that’s needed to make your dream become a reality, then one day it will no longer be a dream.

IF I RULED THE WORLD I WOULD Get rid of the personal automobile, increase public transportation and encourage people to use exercise to get to work or wherever it is they need to be.

IF I WON THE LOTTERY, THE FIRST THING I WOULD DO IS Give Anne Hathaway the amount of money required for her to go on a date with me.

I DRIVE A 2010 Jetta and a 2010 giant TCR advanced bicycle.

I WISH I DROVE A Bentley.

ALWAYS IN MY FRIDGE Almond milk, insulin and apple juice.

IF I COULD HAVE DINNER AND A CONVERSATION WITH ANYONE IN THE WORLD I WOULD CHOOSE Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. I would love to know how he kept fighting for what he believed in when he was told “no” time and time again. I would also tell him that his “I’ve been to the mountaintop” speech is the greatest speech ever and motivates me daily.

— Interview conducted and edited by Nancy Burns-Fusaro



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