Blind teen runner`s determination inspires young boy, family - Boston News, Weather, Sports | FOX 25 | MyFoxBoston

Blind teen runner`s determination inspires young boy, family

Posted: Updated:
CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

A blind high school girl's determination to make the best of her disability has become an inspiration for a 7-year-old boy and his family.

SEE: Running to win: High School athlete won't let blindness stop her

You may remember Jhaliyah Anderson, the suburban girl who runs track holding the hand of a teammate. When FOX 32 News aired the story in May, it touched the heart of a mom in Beverly whose son also lost his eyesight at a very young age.

Today, the two families met for the very first time and they've now gained something they never planned: a kindred connection that they expect will last a long time.

Sonya Anderson opened her home along with her heart to Mary Beth Schied, because they share the challenge that cancer has brought to their families and their children: 16-year-old Jhaliyah and 7-year-old Jake.

After seeing Jhaliyah's story of running track for her high school, Mary Beth reached out to Jhaliyah's school and got Sonya's number.

A few weeks later, they talked on the phone.

"I asked her a bunch of questions you know about Jhaliyah's childhood, and the things that she did and how they felt and how I felt and she felt the same way so it was just nice to meet somebody that is going through the same things that I am," Schied recalls of their conversation.

Jake, who just finished first grade, was diagnosed with retinal cancer when he was 18 months old. His left eye was removed six months later to prevent the aggressive cancer from spreading.

He has very limited vision in his right eye.

Now, he has made a new friend in Jhaliyah, who already knows she wants to be a social worker for people with disabilities.

"When I told her someone's reached out to us and they would like to speak with you, she was like ‘Oh my God, this is awesome, I would love to speak with the child.' She thinks like she can help the world," Sonya laughs.

Today, Jake and Jhaliyah shared a few stories. She told him about camp and he told her about going to a Blackhawks game. She likes to run and he likes to swim and roller blade.

"My mom told me the only limitations that you have are the ones that you set for yourself," Jhaliyah says.

For these two families the bond of friendship is just beginning.

"I'm very interested to see where Jhaliyah's gonna go in high school and college, the thought of her just wanting to help other children it's amazing," says Schied.

Mary Beth calls Sonya and Jhaliyah her lifeline.

"I can't see ever having a problem talking to her about something," Schied explains. "It gives me hope that I'll get over a hump, when that time comes."

Mary Beth says her three other children struggle with Jake's blindness, and one of the things she hopes will come of this meeting with Jhaliyah is that they can see there is hope for Jake to succeed and make the most of life.

Follow Us!

Share Your Photos & Video

  • Metro HeadlinesMore>>

  • City council considering garbage collection fee

    City council considering garbage collection fee

    Thursday, April 24 2014 12:27 PM EDT2014-04-24 16:27:12 GMT
    money-roll-genericmoney-roll-generic
    Chicago residents may soon be paying more for garbage to help pay for the city's pension mess.
    Chicago residents may soon be paying more for garbage to help pay for the city's pension mess.
  • Man charged in police chase that injured 5 at bus stop

    Man charged in police chase that injured 5 at bus stop

    Thursday, April 24 2014 11:45 AM EDT2014-04-24 15:45:16 GMT
    A South Side man has been charged in connection with a police chase Tuesday night that ended when his vehicle collided with another vehicle and crashed into a bus stop, injuring five people in the Roseland neighborhood.
    A South Side man has been charged in connection with a police chase Tuesday night that ended when his vehicle collided with another vehicle and crashed into a bus stop, injuring five people in the Roseland neighborhood.
  • Man found dead after Oak Lawn gas leak

    Man found dead after Oak Lawn gas leak

    Thursday, April 24 2014 11:38 AM EDT2014-04-24 15:38:05 GMT
    A man was found dead inside his home by crews responding to a gas leak Wednesday evening in southwest suburban Oak Lawn.
    A man was found dead inside his home by crews responding to a gas leak Wednesday evening in southwest suburban Oak Lawn.
Powered by WorldNow

25 FOX Drive
Dedham, MA 02026

Phone (781) 467-2525

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices