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The 2nd Annual Smilin' Rylen Run presented by Shipley Do-nuts will be run in his honor on Saturday, April 27, 2019!  

Meet Rylen...our HERO! 


Rylen, who was always smiling, quickly earned the name Smilin' Rylen.  

We remember Rylen with everything ORANGE, a color of happiness!  

Rylen earned his angel wings on June 5, 2017, at only 13.5 months old, after a battle with Bacterial Meningitis.  Little but Mighty, Rylen did not leave this earth untouched.  Thanks to the medical advances in organ donation, Rylen was able to save 5 lives.

Our Mission at The Smilin' Rylen Foundation is to raise awareness about organ donation and to assist families in crisis. 

The Cowan Family would like to THANK YOU from the bottom of our hearts for your generous contributions and continued support! Please join us in celebrating his life and the lives of those he saved!

Registration fees

5K Run/Walk Closed

Registration closed
    1. $30.00
      Jan 1 – Apr 26
    2. $40.00
      Apr 26 – Apr 27

5K Run/Walk (12 & under) Closed

Registration closed
    1. $15.00
      Jan 1 – Apr 26
    2. $20.00
      Apr 26 – Apr 27

1Mile Run/Walk Closed

Registration closed
    1. $20.00
      Jan 1 – Apr 26
    2. $30.00
      Apr 26 – Apr 27

1 Mile Run/Walk (12 & under) Closed

Registration closed
    1. $10.00
      Jan 1 – Apr 26
    2. $15.00
      Apr 26 – Apr 27

Event Info

The Smilin' Rylen Run, is a race of remembrance, a race of hope and a race of love... 

We race to remember Rylen!

We race hoping to bring awareness to the amazing gift of organ donation!

We race to share the love that we have received from so many of you!



Come  celebrate with us! Bring your family and your friends! 

You will earn your Smilin' Rylen t-shirt, enjoy the delicious food with great music, 

lots of fun and a post -race party you don't want to miss!

For more information about the Smilin' Rylen Run & the Smilin' Rylen Foundation, please visit: 


We are so very grateful for the support we have received from the community!  

Sponsorships are available for the 2019 Smilin' Rylen Run. Please visit: 


This year, we wanted to do something special for all of the wonderful organizations that supported our family during this difficult time. Each of these amazing organizations touched our lives in very special ways. 


The Ronald McDonald House Charities

With a mission of "Keeping families with sick children together and near the care and resources they need, our family was able to remain close to Rylen day and night.  Naturally Kristen did not want to leave Rylen's side, thankfully The Ronald McDonald Family Rooms, provided a peaceful place to for her to rest, relax and spend time together as a family without having to leave the hospital. 

Research shows that staying close by allows parents to better communicate with their child’s medical team and improves adherence to complicated treatment plans.

Ronald McDonald House of Houston, Inc., 1907 Holcombe Blvd., Houston, TX 77030  Website

Life Gift

Rylen is a HERO and he lives on everyday because of organ donation. When the doctors talked to Kristen and Travis about the opportunity of Rylen being an organ donor, there was no question.  Both having family members who have been recipients of organs, the answer seemed simple. 

Every day, an average of 92 people across the country receive lifesaving organ transplants, and countless others receive lifesaving tissue transplants. Many more receive the gift of sight through cornea donation.

Even so, there is a critical shortage of organs across the country. More than 118,000 individuals are waiting for a lifesaving transplant. Of those, more than 10,000 are Texans.*

Every 10 minutes, a new person is added to the national organ transplant waiting list, and every day 20 people die waiting for a lifesaving transplant.

The generosity of an individual donor can save up to eight lives through organ donation and countless others through tissue donation. Skin is used to treat burn patients and individuals with cancer; bone can be used to treat orthopedic injuries and cancer patients.

Click Here for a Brochure about Organ Donation      

Click Here to Become an Organ Donor


Emma's Hugs

Emma's Hugs was an organization that Kristen and Travis has never heard of, but through the help of a social worker, they quickly learned how a simple act of kindness can mean so much in a time of need.  Parking is one thing that you don't really think about when your child is sick, but the cost quickly adds up when your hospital stay is days on end.  "It was one less thing we had to worry about, we could come and go as we needed too".  So moved by this tremendous act of kindness, the Cowan family passed it forward and gave the remaining money on their ORANGE chip to another family in need. Just another way that Rylen could touch the life of someone else. 

It is the goal of Emma's Hugs to assist families who are in the Texas Medical Center with “random acts of kindness,”  by paying for hospital parking.

Everyone needs a hug from time to time. A small donation of $12 will gift a family in need 1 day of parking. 

Emma's Hugs, P.O. Box 8388, Baytown, TX 77522  Website

Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep

This organization is full of very special individuals.  Kristen and Travis were blessed to have a friend and representative for the organization, take photos of the family and Rylen.  "These treasured moments are so very precious to our family".

Providing the gift of remembrance photography for parents suffering the loss of a baby

A volunteer based organization, NILMDTS has over 1,700 active photographers around the world. NILMDTS reaches every state in the United States and has been or is present in 40 countries worldwide.



Top Donors

# Name Amount
1 Brian Holcombe $1,069.97
2 Joe Custer $1,069.97
3 James Nowlin $500.00

Top Teams


Donate Life: Team Once Upon a Kidney/Quorum






Raised: $82.03


Perry Family

Raised: $54.36

Top Fundraisers


Pamela Bosse





Casey Bran... Brand

Raised: $150.00


Barrett Baker

Raised: $125.00

Event Schedule

  • April 25 12:00 PM CDT - Packet Pick-up (from 12-7pm)

  • April 27 7:30 AM CDT - Race Day Packet Pick-up (from 7:30-9:00 am)

  • April 27 9:00 AM CDT - 5K & 1 Mile Start

Contact Information

Event Location

Cane Island, Cane Island Parkway, Katy, TX, United States

Click here to view map