SHAWNEE, Okla. (KFOR) – One Shawnee boy is raising lymphoma awareness and inspiring others through his favorite sport.
Ever since he was little, 10-year-old Liam Hassek has had one major passion.
“Being with all the health issues, he can’t play sports like other kids and so he really took to racing,” his mother Stephanie said.
Liam tells KFOR he was initially scared to start but it got easier the more he did it.
“When I started…it was kinda scary,” Liam said. “But if I be strong, I won’t have to be scared no more.”
Liam hasn’t let fear stop him before. He had to have open heart surgery at just four weeks old. He then received a cancer diagnosis that started a string of health complications.
“Once he did his first round of chemo, we thought he was good,” Stephanie said. “Then it came back again, and then it came back as a different type of cancer, and then he went through treatments again.”
He has gotten cancer four times, but he didn’t even let that stop him from doing what he loves.
“He raced through all of it,” Stephanie said. “His doctors wanted to keep him in for 21 days and he was like, ‘No, no, no, I have to go race.”
Liam has been in remission since July. He now uses his racing platform to raise lymphoma awareness; the neon green on his uniform and car represents all of the battles he has fought — and won.
“That’s a lymphoma color and so everything we do is to just get awareness out there,” his mother said.
He also uses his experiences to help other kids dealing with lymphoma.
“When he goes to get labs at the hospital, if there’s another kid in another room, he is, on multiple times, gone to that kid in the other room and sat there with him,” she said. “[He has] said ‘it’s OK, look I’ve just got blood too so it’s OK, you can get through this.'”
Liam also has a message for anyone fighting the same battle that he fought.
“If I can race and beat cancer, they can too,” he said. “You still need to fight even though you feel like you wanna give up.”