Jared Oman says he gets inspiration from watching his brother play football, from watching all the Skyview Storm play football.
Kyle Oman and the Storm say Jared has things backward.
It is Jared Oman who inspires them.
Jared Oman, a three-sport athlete, a rock climber, and a teen who completed his first half-marathon last year, lost his left leg in September due to complications from a circulation problem he has been battling for years.
The shock of the amputation put him in a funk for a couple of days.
Only for a couple of days.
“There are two directions. Keep being sad about it, moan, ask for sympathy. Or put a smile on your face and be thankful you have another one to spare,” Jared said.
A sophomore at Skyview, Jared will be on the sideline Friday night to help celebrate his older brother’s senior night when the Storm take on Union at Kiggins Bowl for second place in the Class 4A Greater St. Helens League.
“It’s inspiring to see someone wake up every morning and see someone jump over any obstacle,” Kyle Oman said of his younger brother. “He’s dealing with it like a champion.”
“The most amazing part is how Jared has handled it,” said their mother, Evvie Oman. “To be so strong about it … because he is so strong.
“And to see how well loved he is … amazing.”
The Omans rely on each other, and there is another family that has the Oman family’s back: The Skyview athletic community.
Jared ran cross country for the Storm last year. This fall, his teammates wrote “Run 4 Jared” on their legs at the district meet. Meanwhile, the football team has brought hugs and well wishes to Jared and Kyle.
Kyle and Jared have always been close, always played sports, always been active. It crushed Kyle when he learned that Jared was going to lose a leg.
That night, he had a football game to play.
“Before the game, kids were praying for Jared,” Kyle said. “It was the greatest thing ever. Best teammates in the world.”
The love has continued throughout the season.
“It’s the greatest thing in the world when people help you with a problem that’s not theirs. Football at Skyview, we’re a family,” Kyle said. “I would do the same for them that they did for me. They were sure there for me.”
A few days after the surgery to amputate, Jared went to Kyle’s game.
“I will always remember that as a best memory,” Jared said. “Every single football player came up to me. ‘You’re so strong. You can do this.’ “
As a mother, Evvie said it was “very, very touching” to see the football players embrace Jared as if he were a member of the team, too. Going to Kyle’s football games has always been a highlight of the week for the family, Evvie and Jared said, but now it means even more.
Skyview offensive lineman Charles Thao is one of Jared’s closest friends.
“He’s the strongest guy alive. He’s a soldier. He’s why I keep driving,” Thao said. “He’s done so much for me (as a friend). Least I could do is play my heart out for him.
“He’s the little brother I never had.”
Friends and family thrive around Jared because of Jared’s attitude throughout this ordeal. There is no name for what Jared has, but the family believes he was born with it. Blood clots in his leg led to circulation problems. When Jared was 10, the blood flow stopped working.
Doctors inserted a graft to bypass the problem, getting blood to his foot. They checked his circulation every six months.
The last time his leg started hurting, in September, doctors could not find a way to open up the circulation. The foot was going to die. So Jared was scheduled to have his leg amputated just below the knee.
“There are several ways anyone could deal with it,” Jared said. “Cry about it. Pout about it, which I did for a couple of days. Or you can look at it as it’s just a little part of your life and move on and do the things I did when I had the leg.”
Interestingly, he started running at about the time he learned of his no-name condition.
“I used to hate running,” Jared said. “But I started running and never stopped until now.”
This is just recovery time, though. As soon as he gets his prosthetic leg, he plans on returning to the sport. He hopes to run track and field for the Storm in the spring. He definitely plans to be on the cross country team next fall.
He expects to rock climb, too. And train for a marathon.
“He’s going to do it,” Evvie said. “No doubt in my mind he will do want he wants to do.”
About the only thing Jared “cannot” do is normal-day chores. Oh, he can. He just likes to use his condition as a fun excuse.
Clean the house? Do the dishes?
“Mom, I can’t,” he says as he lifts what he calls his “nub” into the air, as if trying to remind Evvie of what he has gone through this fall.
Maybe that ploy will work for a little bit but not for long.
Jared Oman has one leg, is waiting for the prosthetic to become his other leg, and then he will be out to conquer the world.
Inspiring his brother, inspiring so many others along the way.
“I’m kind of a little glad they had to amputate it and not have to live my life through the pain,” Jared said. “I got through the rocky part of my life.”
With a lot of help from his brother, and his Skyview brothers, too.