SAN DIEGO - For Suzanne Baumann, it is the little things like being able to help her son Garrett down the stairs or sharing moments with him on the couch. Right now, it is just a way of life, but Bauman knows in her heart that will soon change.
When Garrett was in 5th grade, he was diagnosed with NF2 – or Neurofibromatosis –where tumors develop on his nerves. It has taken away his ability to speak, and it has caused hearing loss at only 24 years old.
Baumann adds, "The disease has gotten progressively worst and we're now at a point where the doctors can't keep up with the tumors."
Since Garrett was diagnosed, the Baumanns have relied on family and friends for support. It is the same group she says they will lean on as they move towards the next phase.
"We know Garrett's dying and it's hard for us and hard for them," she said. "And being together … it's helped. We are all stronger that way."
That is why they formed Team Garrett, a group of more than 100 who will walk in the America's Finest City Half Marathon on Sunday and raise money for the Children's Tumor Foundation. They will honor Garrett in a special way on Sunday by dressing up as Garrett's favorite Nintendo characters.
It is an outpouring of support and love that Baumann takes comfort in knowing that Garrett has always felt.
"Every day, he's known that we've loved him, and I can let him go at 25 knowing he's had a good 25 years, as he could have," she said.