Robyn Schneider had always dreamed of being a mother and was blessed with beautiful twin sons. Alex and Jamie were both happy babies up until the day they suddenly stopped smiling. At 21 months old, both sons were diagnosed with Autism.
With the disheartening news, Robyn Schneider searched for a path to a cure her sons. She and other parents, whom were blessed with autistic children, opened a special school to try and help behavioral disorders. The boys made steady gains, but when they turned 5, Robyn settled with the fact that Alex and Jamie were never going to be like other kids. They were severely autistic with nonverbal and extremely challenging behaviors. After coming to that conclusion, she and her husband Allan chose to pursue a different path focusing on giving the boys happiness instead of normality.
They started swimming and horse back riding, but in the end, it was simply running that came easily and natural to both of the boys. With dedicated coaches and support, they excelled progressively and safely, each with their own style. Alex was the fast one who competitively focused on the finish line while Jamie took his time, running for fun and the social experience. Inspired by their passion, their father Allan started running with them while still managing his own life obstacle of MS.
The boys began running in mainstream races flashing those huge smiles that reappeared after so many years. A new world opened up to them, as they became a running family turning pessimism into optimism and growth. The boys were finally happy.
Although the story seemed like it was over, there was a new battle to overcome. Robyn had been diagnosed with severe breast cancer. And in the same stride of determination, she began running alongside the rest of her family. Their motivation and support also helped beat her breast cancer, overcoming yet another obstacle in their lives. Their footsteps on the pavement seemed to bind them closer than they had ever been.
Since 2005 Jamie and Alex have run over 150 races including many NYC and Boston Marathons. Running leveled the playing field for the boys, and they are no longer defined by their autism. They are now runners.