Three weeks after revealing he's been suffering from Lyme disease, Ryan took to Instagram on Saturday to gush about his supportive wife, Season 1 The Bachelorette star Trista Rehn, and their two kids -- Maxwell, 13, and Blakesley, 12 -- now that he's reached a new stage in his career.
"It may not have gone as I'd thought, as I'd hoped or as I'd expected," Ryan, 46, wrote alongside a slideshow of photos that featured him in uniform posing with his family.
"It was not an easy year or perfect process. It was hard -- intentionally so. But it's in the books now and, with the undying support of my family, I made it -- we made it!"
Ryan continued, "There is a price that must be paid for almost everything great in life. But when the reward is a purposeful existence doing what you love with people you admire and respect, it's worth it every time. Honored to be a member of The Denver Fire Department."
"Now the real work begins... Best job I've ever had!" Ryan added, before thanking his loved ones. "Thank you @tristasutter Max and Blakesley. I truly could not have done this without you."
Ryan has served as a firefighter in Colorado for several years, but he transferred to Denver in 2020 and therefore had to re-train for one year, according to Us Weekly.
Trista, 48, commented on the post, "And we can't do life without you!! So proud!"
Trista also posted a sweet tribute to her husband in light of his latest accomplishment on her own Instagram account.
She captioned photos of Ryan's graduation ceremony, "Dedicated, driven, humble, brave, courageous...all words used to describe the 20-01 class of the Denver Fire Department yesterday and all words that I have used to describe the firefighter I fell in love with almost 20 years ago."
"After trying his hand at building for a year with the incredible crew at @vailcustom, the purpose and joy he found as a firefighter was too strong to silence so when the opportunity to start over in the Denver Fire Academy presented itself, he followed that call and made us all proud once again," Trista shared.
"But not just because he was going back to one of the most honorable careers in our world or one of the most intense and physically demanding fire academies in the country."
"Because he would knowingly be fighting to prove his worth among an academy class where many were twice as young; because he would be living and commuting 2 hours away from us and his home; and because he was willing to take a chance on re-discovering his true purpose," she gushed.
Trista revealed that Ryan had also finished second in his class during the coronavirus pandemic "and while struggling with a disease and viruses that we now know were attacking him from the inside out."
"I love you for so many reasons, @ryansutter, and will continue to be in awe of the inspiring person you constantly prove yourself to be," Trista concluded.
"Thank you for showing our kids the picture of resilience, perseverance and strength and congratulations on an incredible achievement! We love you and are honored to be a part of the Denver Fire family!"
Ryan explained on Trista's Better, Etc. podcast several weeks ago that his body was weakened from exposure to mold toxins and therefore unable to fight Lyme disease over the last year, People reported.
Ryan also reportedly tested positive for COVID-19 during the pandemic in 2020 as well as Epstein-Barr virus, which causes mononucleosis.
Instead of taking a "pretty heavy dose" of multiple antibiotics for several weeks, Ryan told his listeners that he planned to treat his illness by making dietary changes.
Ryan and Trista -- who fell in love and got engaged on Season 1 of The Bachelorette -- expressed relief over finally having answers, especially considering they worried he may have lymphoma, a cancer centered in the lymphatic system.
Trista -- who found fame when she competed on Alex Michel's season of The Bachelor in 2002 -- chose Ryan at the final Rose Ceremony of her The Bachelorette season over runner-up Charlie Maher.
Trista, a former Dancing with the Stars and Fear Factor contestant, changed her last name from Rehn to Sutter when she married Ryan in December 2003.
Trista & Ryan's Wedding's two-hour finale -- which featured the couple's wedding ceremony and reception at the Lodge in Rancho Mirage resort in Palm Springs, CA -- drew over 17 million viewers when it aired on ABC on December 10, 2003.
Trista and Ryan welcomed Maxwell in July 2007 followed by Blakesley in April 2009.