Anyone who knows Andersen, California-based owner-operator Howard Salmon also knows that Salmon is diligent about checking in periodically to maintain the relationships he values, whether with a phone call or a simple text or email wishing a Merry Christmas or a Happy New Year. In the modern age, the quality seems increasingly to fall by the wayside as we all hustle and bustle about and so many personal and business relationships take on a purely transactional quality.
I’d like to thank Howard here, personally, for maintaining our long relationship in a manner assuredly better than I’ve been able to reciprocate through the years — and more specifically for his check-in New Year’s Day, difficult though the message was to deliver, I know.
His young son Liam, whom we just wished a happy fifth birthday back in the fall, regular readers will recall, passed on New Year’s Eve mid-afternoon, Salmon said.
The St. Christopher Truckers Relief fund helped deliver monetary support to the Salmons as Liam’s medical bills and need for home care took their toll following an early-2020 diagnosis with the terminal childhood cancer known as DIPG. St. Christopher offered the following reflection on the young man’s life and the impact his case has made on the trucking community since it came to light in January almost a year ago.
Liam Salmon, who has made a lasting impression on this industry, his community and this entire country, passed away on New Year’s Eve. Liam is the son of 24-year trucking veteran Howard Salmon and his wife, Mary, who live in Anderson, California.
In January 2020, Liam was diagnosed with DIPG, a rare pediatric brain tumor that affects the pons portion of the brainstem that controls breathing, sleeping and balance. There is currently no cure for DIPG, which has a 0% survival rate. Liam fought hard while receiving experimental treatment this last year but sadly lost his battle with this terrible disease.
SCF had the privilege of providing the Salmons assistance when Howard had to come off the road to be with Liam while he was fighting this brain tumor. Howard and Liam also graciously agreed to be on the marketing materials for TravelCenters of America’s “Be A Champion of Change” fund-raiser benefiting SCF. You often saw their picture alongside SCF’s goal thermometer as well.
“Liam touched so many lives in his short life. This trucker’s son was a ‘mini me,’” Salmon said. “His name will remain in the hearts of many people. He wanted Daddy to be able to help other kids, so that is what we will be doing from now on. Liam taught me the meaning of love. Thank you to all of those that helped his last year be special. Drivers, please take it from me … make every day with your family full of love.”
Our continued thoughts and prayers are with Howard and Mary as they continue their journey honoring Liam by helping other kids affected by DIPG.
For condolences, you can find Salmon’s mailing address and more via this linked past post here on the blog. And I’d appreciate you keeping the Salmons in your thoughts and prayers today. I know I will.
Read more about the advocacy push around DIPG, and more about Liam’s story, via the links to prior coverage below.