Amy Shinneman has never been able to run or jump because of her weakened condition.
For years, Shinneman, 45, knew muscular dystrophy was a possibility, but she wasn’t officially diagnosed until November 2018.
“I got genetic testing along with my parents, and that’s when I found out for sure,” Shinneman said. “Doctors thought it looked like muscular dystrophy, but doctors couldn’t really place it until the testing of my parents and myself.”
Shinneman said she has weak muscles throughout her entire body.
“It’s a struggle to walk,” said Shinneman, who walks with a limp and needs a mobility device for longer distances.
Her husband, Jamie, is a marathon runner. He started raising money and awareness when he competed in his second Boston Marathon in April. The Muscular Dystrophy Association offered a duo bicycle so the couple can train to compete in the Chicago Marathon Oct. 13. They are raising money through MDA Team Momentum pages.
“I can’t wait to get her to the finish line of her first race ever,” Jamie said.
Sinneman and her husband, who are Noblesville High School graduates, have two sons, Luke, 16, and Jack, 12. Luke, a sophomore, runs cross country for NHS. Jack, a seventh-grader, competes for Noblesville East Middle School.
“I wanted to be a part of all the running that goes on around here,” Shinneman said. “It’s a cool experience to feel that feeling of running.”
The couple is nearing the end of the 18-week training period.
“It’s opened up a whole new world for us as a couple,” Jamie said. “It’s brought our two worlds together. A passion I enjoy allows me to immerse her into that world of running, and we can be together. Now, it can be more of a complete family activity versus the three boys going out running, and she is kind of left behind, so to speak.”
Jamie said he takes his wife out on a long run on the weekend and then runs on his own the rest of the week.
“People are giving you high-fives and encouragement along the way,” Jamie said. “We’re unique on the Monon, pushing on this bike. It gives her a sensation of running. One of the early times I was pushing her, she said she just loved the wind in her face. She never felt that before. She said, ‘If I close my eyes and listen to your feet, I feel like I’m running.’” To me, that meant a lot.”
Jamie has run in six marathons, completing the Boston Marathon twice and Indianapolis Monumental Marathon four times.
For more, visit www2.mda.org/goto/JamesBOACM2019.