RYAN: She looks at me the way I always wanted to be looked at by...everyone. I have a rare form of dwarfism known as spondyloepiphyseal dysplasia congenital syndrome. As an infant I had a lot of medical issues, a lot of surgeries. We were one of seven families that were chosen to go testify at a congressional hearing in Washington, D.C. We learned that, at that time, First Lady Clinton was going to be at this congressional hearing. I don't know what it was about our family that she spotted right away and came over to my parents.
CLINTON: I've had the most wonderful times at these Health Rights events because I always get to hear from people and meet people who I think are the real heroes and the real people of courage in America. And all during the events of this morning, Ryan has been just smiling up a storm. He has been nodding at everything every Senator has said in obvious agreement, and throughout it all he had an expression on his face that I can only describe as beatific. He has just been remarkable.
RYAN'S MOM: I remember the description she had of him was that he was beatific.
RYAN: Which is...we had to look it up! Since then, we've just kind of kept in contact. She set aside an hour just for our family. Took us around the White House, showed us a bunch of different room, and she said, "I have something for you." We're like…this is such an amazing experience already, what would that be? And Hillary brought in the picture of her holding me during her speech. She said, "I just wanted you to know that this has been hanging in the White House in my office for the past two or three years." And I'm just like, so my picture's been in the White House. She said, "I want you to hang this in your hospital room." Because I was having surgery the following day in Baltimore. Her and President Clinton both signed the picture, wrote a really nice note and both offered such words of encouragement. I was pretty scared, you know it was going to be a pretty big surgery. Just to know that the President and First Lady had my back, so to speak, was just so comforting. It wasn't like she had press or wanted pictures of us or anything like that. She just wanted to connect with me, and our family. There's no ulterior motives to having a friendship with us over 20 years. Even if she got 100% of the "dwarfism vote," I don't think that would move the needle much, so to speak.
INTERVIEWER: What do you think you've given her? What has she gained from her relationship with you?
RYAN: I hope that she has seen that the countless hours and just the effort that she has put forth has not been in vain. Because a person like me, who has had a lot of trials and difficulties through life, she has helped make me into the person I am today.