….KEEPING LIAM’S LEGACY BOSTON STRONG Written by Amy Visci
Last year at this time I was preparing and training to run Boston Marathon 2013. Boston Marathon is historically a runners dream, although the course may pose a challenge with many literal ups and downs. The entire 26.2 miles is overflowing with support and encouragement. The indescribable positive energy and patriotic respect that the city of Boston holds is truly amazing to witness. Anticipation and excitement leading to Boston was overwhelming. Marathon training is quite a journey as a person strives to train and create life balance, however, nothing compares to the journey that has captured my heart for a lifetime. Liam Jenner Schumacher was born July 27, 2012, son of proud parents Lance and Jen, and baby brother of Logan, Luke, and Jordyn.
My admiration, love, and respect for the Schumacher family began long before when our children developed friendships with the Schumacher children shortly after relocating to Minnesota from Cleveland, Ohio. My family was embraced and a mutual friendship grew very quickly. We will forever be grateful to be “believers” and part of Liam’s incredible journey holding strong value in Liam’s legacy. Liam was born with multiple medical challenges. Liam was diagnosed with Noonans Syndrome which brought heart and lung issues, leukemia, as well as many other medical struggles. Liam struggled through many uphill battles and conquered mountains. I was equally inspired by the strength and solid faith of Liam’s family throughout every baby step of his journey. Although Liam continuously fought there were definite periods of hope and promise for Liam. Liam reached many milestones and showed promise in his beautiful eyes and powerful spirit. He captured so many hearts around the world.
Liam’s strength was a personal inspiration as I anticipated running Boston Marathon. Boston’s challenging course could not compare to the obstacles Liam accomplished. My goal was to run with “Liam Strength” in honor of his journey. Liam’s journey would continue to fight with his family and incredible medical team at Children’s Hospital and Clinics of Minnesota faithfully by his side. My quest to the finish would be Liam’s quest for health and his finish line would be arriving at his family’s home. Through Liam’s strength and inspiration I would dedicate miles to milestones!!
Arriving in Boston was surreal..just a couple days away. I soon received news from Jen that Liam was really struggling..prayer and hope were immediate. I did not want to believe the news I would receive next that Liam was going to soon pass. Liam sadly passed away in the arms of his loving family on April 14, 2013. My heart was very heavy, my heart was in Minnesota with the Schumacher family. I would have loved to hold Liam one final time. There was such a feeling of helplessness being in Boston, so far away. With an obvious loss for words, attempts were made to express sympathy to Jen and Lance. I was overcome with sadness and contemplated returning home when I received a text from Jen “RUN FOR LIAM”. My heart dropped, I lost it emotionally, covered my mouth and repeated ” RUN FOR LIAM”!! Without a doubt I would run for Liam with Liam by my side. The infamous “heartbreak hill” would have a whole new meaning for me.
On the day of Boston Marathon, April 15, 2013, I woke with a surprising sense of calm and peace despite great loss. I felt honored to “RUN FOR LIAM”, our hero. An angel by my side with a shiny new halo and wings. Representing Team Liam with the words “Team Liam” and “Run for Liam” written on my body and clothing I began Boston Marathon….I am surprised I did not dehydrate the first couple of miles simply in the fluid I lost in tears..Extremely powerful mix of emotions..Then I heard it, continuous shouts “Run for Liam”, “Go Team Liam”…keep going “Team Liam”. For 26.2 miles I heard his name repeated hundreds of times. I was supposed to be running for Liam, yet I know Liam ran for me that day. Heartbreak hill seemed effortless as I imagined him with me, I know he was.
After realizing the unfortunate explosions that followed our finish, I am certain I was protected by my running angel. There was so much significance that he was present as I was supposed to spend time at the finish line post race and changed plans at the last minute. Spectators had no idea Liam had entered heaven just hours before this day..Every countless recognition was such an honor to Liam Schumacher’s legacy!!
It is with Team Liam’s strong desire that Liam’s Legacy stays strong. Liam’s life was a short 8.5 months, yet was with great purpose and inspiration. Medical studies and awareness of Noonan’s Syndrome and human inspiration are just a few of Liam’s purposes. Team Liam would like to help families in similar circumstances, although hearts may be heavy, swim not sink through trial and challenge of having a child in the hospital. If you believe in our cause and keeping Liam’s Legacy “Boston Strong” please visit http://www.teamliam.org/donations/ and choose “Boston Strong” as the project, realizing no donation is too small and greatly appreciated. Knowing what we know now following Liam’s journey and the explosions at the Boston Marathon of 2013 you are never “just” a spectator!!! Please pray for all spectators and runners at Boston marathon 2014. Jen Schumacher, Liam’s mommy and Ali Noble, Liam’s prayer warrior, will be among the spectators as Liam and I run together again at Boston 2014!!!
Again, let’s please keep Liam’s legacy Boston Strong and also save the date for Team Liam 5K July 26, 2014, you too can “RUN FOR LIAM”!!!