Help from out of the Blue

Toni Misitano with partner and fellow police officer Ryan Marron.
Toni Misitano with partner and fellow police officer Ryan Marron.

Part-proceeds from sales from the boot company’s Response Range will be donated.

Ms Misitano, the partner of Ryan Marron, the police officer who contracted Murray Valley encephalitis while working in Halls Creek, said it had been three years since her partner’s illness and although he was still dependent on help for daily tasks, he had made wonderful gains.

Ms Misitano set up the foundation to help support Ryan’s extensive treatment and rehabilitation costs, but will this year expand it to WA police officers with the help of the new partnership with the Malaga-based boot company.

‘What happened to Ryan was worse than any nightmare or fear I had for Ryan’s safety as a serving police officer and I had many, as I know what dangers await us in this job,’ she said.

‘But the cruellest outcome of this illness was that it has taken Ryan’s voice away.

‘Not having the ability to have conversations with Ryan or know what he’s thinking is heartbreaking.’

Ms Misitano said she missed her old life with her partner and his sense of humour.

‘He is the funniest person I have ever met and I miss hearing his jokes and quick wit,’ she said.

‘Our life together before Ryan’s illness was extremely happy and we knew how lucky we were to have found each other.

‘We had plans like every young couple, to travel, get married and start a family.

‘Our life now is so uncertain but Ryan is still working as hard as he can in therapy every day to get better and improve his condition.’

Ms Misitano said the need for support for police officers was essential and they deserved to be looked after.

‘The reality of policing is that every day we are interacting with people on their worst day,’ she said.

‘This inevitably takes its toll and the effects of this are something that I hope the Foundation can help alleviate.

‘Whether it is access to specialised treatment interstate or overseas, which may arise from being assaulted on the job, or assisting with bill payments for those in financial trouble, our aim is to improve the quality of life of our police officers in any way we can.’

For more information, visit www.ryanmarronfoundation.org.