LEICESTER, Mass. — Leicester residents David Stanick and Tracy Collyer will run the 26.2-mile course of the 117th Boston Marathon in April to raise funds for Juvenile Diabetes research — an issue that hits close to home for the siblings.
Their nephew Patrick Gallant, an eighth-grader at Leicester Middle School, was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in 2010.
Though Patrick's diagnosis was life-changing, his family quickly stepped up — not only in their support of him but also in support of diabetes research.
"In the last couple years, we have participated in the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Walk in Worcester, and Team Patrick was one of the top fundraising families for the Worcester walk," said Jennifer Stanick, Patrick's aunt. "Just knowing what Patrick has to go through and his family has to go through definitely was our motivation."
Due to Patrick's condition and his treatments, it can difficult for him to be a typical kid, Stanick said.
"Though I think our family has done a great job trying to make that happen," she said. "But you can't always have that birthday cake like everyone else or junk food, and the worst holiday is probably Halloween with all the candy."
While not one to seek the spotlight, Patrick is thrilled to have his aunt and uncle run the Boston Marathon for him.
Collyer ran the Boston Marathon last year for the first time to raise funds for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, and her brother will join her in the run this year.
"Patrick's very excited to go see the race again, because we all went down and supported Tracy last year, and it was quite an amazing event."
To raise funds for the foundation, the family has organized a Boston Marathon kick-off party
at 7 p.m. Friday, March 1, at Halligan's Sports Bar and More, 889 Southbridge St., Auburn. The event will include appetizers, music, dancing and raffles for items such as a television and Red Sox tickets.
Admission to the event is a donation of $10 for adults, $5 for kids and $25 maximum for families.
So far, Stanick has raised 54 percent of his fundraising goal for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation on his donor page.
To learn more about the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, visit its website.
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