#RedBalloonsforRyan Goes Viral After 3-Year-Old Killed

Family friend inspires outpouring on her blog

By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff

Posted May 7, 2014 7:00 PM CDT

(Newser) – An outpouring of love has stunned the parents of a 3-year-old boy who was struck and killed by a car while playing frisbee, the Pasadena Star-News reports. Ryan Saldana died when he ran into the street in Alta Loma, Calif., on Friday, leaving his parents devastated. Then Alissa Circle, who knew the parents through blogging and their children's friendship, started a hashtag on her blog (#redballoonsforryan) so people could share thoughts and images of the boy with flaming red hair. She hoped "somebody would see it, anybody would see it and would post a picture," she says.

"I literally slept for 5 hours and when I woke up the site was down, there were 4,000 pictures shared already on Instagram. It was just an incredible outpouring." Ryan's mom, Jacqui Saldana, "couldn’t believe it and it’s making them strong and they can feel the prayers and they can feel the love." Now a GoFundMe page is raising funds for the family, and a Facebook page is encouraging people to release red balloons for them on Mother's Day. "The one great thing is just really how many people are coming together," said a relative at whose house the accident happened. "It amazes me."

Ryan Cruz Saldana with his parents, Jacqui and Dan.
Ryan Cruz Saldana with his parents, Jacqui and Dan.   (YouTube)
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