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Sam's Journey: Triumph Over Adversity with Let Me Run

January 19, 2024 by Let Me Run National

Meet Sam Limes, an energetic 11-year-old, fifth-grader from Dublin, Ohio. Sam has a zest for life that includes running, swimming, hanging out with his brother, and his friends.  Sam's life took an unexpected turn in the fall of 2022 when he was diagnosed with Ewing's Sarcoma, a rare and aggressive cancer affecting bones or soft tissues around the bones. Sam and his mom take us through his inspiring journey, shedding light on the supportive role played by the Let Me Run community in his recovery.

In the fall of 2022, while participating in a Let Me Run team practice, Sam began experiencing pain in his right shin. Concerned about shin splints, his parents took him to Nationwide Children's Sports Medicine and Orthopedic Center. Little did they know that this visit would reveal a more significant issue – a ruptured Brodie's Abscess in his tibia. Subsequent tests unveiled a cancerous tumor, identified as Ewing's Sarcoma.

Sam's treatment journey spanned nine months, involving chemotherapy sessions, a 10-hour surgery to remove the tumor and reconstruct his leg, and a multitude of challenges and setbacks. Throughout this period, Sam couldn't attend school so he continued learning remotely. However, Sam never lost heart. He completed his treatment in July 2023, symbolized by ringing the bell at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

Sam remained connected to his Let Me Run team throughout his recovery. His mom, Becky Limes, shared, “Sam is happiest when he is able to be active and the Let Me Run practices have helped him with this. His two favorite things are running and his friends, and at Let Me Run practice, he gets to run/walk WITH his friends.”  Attending races in a wheelchair, he received unwavering support from his coach and teammates, exemplifying the spirit of a team that defines the Let Me Run program. Sam explained, “My favorite part about practice/lessons is that we get to learn life lessons in a running club. We are given the time to participate, and we feel heard. I feel supported. I learned not to give up and to always keep trying. Even if I don’t reach my goals, it’s okay because there is always a next time.” 

Let Me Run played an important role for Sam over the last year by providing a sense of community. When asked how Let Me Run impacted his medical journey Sam said, “Even when I couldn’t run or even walk, I still felt part of the team and included. I went to the races and cheered on my teammates. At the 2023 spring race, when I was undergoing treatment, I went to cheer on my teammates, but my coach insisted I participate. She pushed me in my wheelchair the entire 5K. Towards the end of the race, my teammates went back on the course to find us and ran us into the finish line. Did I mention it was pouring down rain that day?”  This is an example of how the program's positive and encouraging environment creates a place of growth and camaraderie for boys across the country. Sam shared that his participation in Let Me Run also led to him forging new friendships and gave him an even stronger connection to his school, Hopewell Elementary.

Now back in school, Sam is resuming the activities he loves with the ongoing support of his family, friends, coach, and the Let Me Run community.  Sam is optimistic about the future.  This year one of his coaches, Michelle Cooper, is also his 5th grade teacher.  Michelle was honored by the school district with the Golden Shamrock award which was presented to her by Sam.  

Sam's journey has been marked by resilience, determination, and the unwavering support of his community. Let Me Run, with its emphasis on life lessons, support, and inclusivity, was an important program to Sam during this challenging time.  Sam embodies the spirit of triumph over adversity, proving that with the right support and perspective, even the toughest challenges can be overcome.



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