Petaluma's Schuhmacher family have been orbiting the same schools with their four sons, as my own family of boys for the past 12 years or so. I've watched Meri and Ryan's boys grow in leaps and bounds over hundreds of school day drop-offs and pick-ups over these years, talked with and written about their incredibly optimistic, innovative approach to life with three of the four boys diagnosed with Type I Diabetes.
If you don't know the family personally, you might very well remember Ryan Schuhmacher as popular second generation baker from Joe's A 1 Bakery, a former Petaluma institution, located in the heart of downtown, on restaurant row, for many years.
Meri Shuhmacher's wonderful blog, Our Diabetic Life is surely a book in the making. Followed by fans from around the world, her 'Our Diabetic Life' is uplifting, encouraging, honest and informative with sometimes heart wrenching posts from her unique perspective on parenting not just one child with Type 1 Diabetes, but three of her four.
Three years ago, Ryan Shuhmacher (40) was diagnosed with Melanoma, He had surgery and chemotherapy and the family had faith that he had beat the disease. This week, the Shuhmachers heard that Ryan's cancer is back and with a vengeance.
Meri has shared that her husband and best friend, has six tumors in his brain, as well as multiple tumors in his lungs and abdomen. "This news is obviously not good, but we have not lost hope," said Meri via Facebook today.
No matter what your faith, the Shuhmacher family is asking that as many people as they can possibly reach, join their family in collective prayer and positive thought, this Sunday, March 4th, 2012, in order to: "bombard the gates of heaven with prayers for Ryan, on Sunday and beyond."
The Shuhmachers have been married for 19 years and their boys are aged just 16, 14, 10 and 8. Their hope is that their church community here in Petaluma, friends, families, neighbors and a vast network of potential online community will help to spread the word for prayers and positive thoughts for Ryan, by the thousands as this young family faces its latest and greatest of challenges.