When someone runs, you can sometimes feel the impact that his or her shoes make as they slap the pavement repeatedly. The impact may or may not leave an impression on the running surface. However, a local runner is doing just that. He is making a huge impact and leaving a great impression… on a little boy who has a rare developmental disorder.
Liam is a sweet, little boy with the most contagious smile! He is only 3 but was born with Williams Syndrome. This has made his short time here on earth, a rough road.
“Williams syndrome is a developmental disorder that affects many parts of the body. This condition is characterized by mild to moderate intellectual disability or learning problems, unique personality characteristics, distinctive facial features, and heart and blood vessel (cardiovascular) problems.” – Medicine Net
Luckily, Liam has an awesome support system. In fact, people all over are doing something amazing to help bring awareness to others about this rare disorder. Leonard Kelly, a veteran of 12 years in the Air Force, and wife Samantha, have started a group called, “Lads for Liam 2018”. This small starter group decided to run 2,018 miles in the year 2018 for Liam and others like him. Mr. Kelly decided to ask a few friends if they would join his team and some agreed.
One of Liam’s supporters is a Greenville native. Chris Sampson has been running and logging miles in the name of bringing awareness to the disease. When asked, Mr. Sampson stated, “I can tell you, neither Leonard nor Samantha wallow in self-pity through their struggles. Rather, they shine as an example to others for how they continue to project a positive message about owning each new day as yours to control. A good mentor and friend once told me to focus on ‘forward momentum’ when facing challenges. I keep going back to those words with respect to this cause and the end goal. Get out there and earn the day, utilize that forward momentum and keep things rolling how you want them to unfold.”
So, if you see Chris out running, give him a thumbs up or an “atta boy” because he’s not just running for fun… He is running for a small boy who has a big obstacle in life. Thank you Chris, and all the ‘Lads’, for your sacrifice. Keep on running.
There is a website and Facebook page to go to if you would like to learn more about Liam, Williams Syndrome, or follow the progress the runners are making.