Dads teach us lots of things about life like how to work hard or support the ‘right’ sports teams. For one local dad, Brent Ransom, his son, Lucas, also teaches him a lot about life, especially how to push through obstacles.
Last year, Lucas became the first hero patient to participate in the FirstEnergy Akron Marathon, Half Marathon and Team Relay with his dad pushing him in a custom running chair for 26.2 miles. The event is one of the most festive days on the calendar in Northeast Ohio and the culmination of the Akron Children’s Hospital Akron Marathon Race Series. Today, even in the midst of a pandemic, the father-son running team is still soaking up the miles and memories.
“We have been outside running on trails and are picking up the mileage,” said Brent. “Lucas wears a mask, which allows him to see people and say hello as we pass by. We make sure to keep our distance, but people are very receptive to us so they give us more than 6 feet.”
Keeping Lucas safe is a priority, especially with his complicated medical history. At just a few weeks old, he was diagnosed with a bacterial infection known as Group B strep, as well as meningitis, sepsis and hydrocephalus. There was a chance he’d never walk, talk or speak, but Lucas fought for his life, and the challenges that came with his diagnoses. (read more about his medical journey)
Thanks to his resiliency and determination, Lucas is now a thriving 5th grader who’s able to read, write, talk and walk independently. But, due to the low muscle tone in his legs, running with his dad had never been an option for him, until last year.
Brent was determined to find a way to run with Lucas. With the help and generosity of friends, family and strangers, Brent was able to purchase a custom Hoyt Running Chair so they could train and run in the Akron Marathon together.
The chair has given Brent the gift of running with his son – on Father’s Day or any given day – and has given Lucas a way to support his dad in a sport they both love.
“Lucas and I are doing the virtual race M2M or Medford 2 Medford with all of the Hoyt teams across the country,” said Brent. “It’s fantastic because it allows us, as a family, to get out together with my wife (Beth) riding her bike pulling our daughter, Norah ( age 3-1/2), and our son, Aiden (age 15), riding his bike or running while Lucas and I chase after them!”
The importance of setting goals – in life or in running – is also something father and son have taught each other over the years.
“We are looking forward to doing the Eagle Up Ultra in Canal Fulton next year,” said Brent. “We are going to try and hit 100 miles in 24 hours!”
To Brent, and all dads, who inspire their kids to be better, try harder and never give up, thank you. Happy Father’s Day!