Live like John: Join the Turkey Trot to help find a cure! - New York News

Live like John: Join the Turkey Trot to help find a cure!

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

A Beverly family who lost 15-year-old John McNicholas to brain cancer is keeping his memory alive in a unique and inspirational way. They are running to make a better day for others!

It's hard to believe he's gone. But in his short 15 years, McNicholas lived every day as a gift.

His mother, Amy, described him as a happy, healthy teenager. She called him a funny, charming old soul, a pain in the neck and a good athlete who loved sports.

Just two weeks after being named the starting first baseman for the St. Rita Mustangs - a dream of his since he started playing t-ball - something just wasn't right.

Complaining of a horrible headache like he never had, John started vomiting. Amy said it just didn't seem right. So she took him to what is now Advocate Christ Hospital. In the weeks prior to his death, John lost most the ability to show any emotion, to walk, talk and swallow. Ultimately, he lost the ability to breathe.

Ten short months after his diagnosis, young, handsome John was gone. He died from a pediatric brain tumor.

During his battle, Amy learned that so very little is known about pediatric brain tumors and how few dollars are dedicated to researching a cure. So the McNicholas family started a foundation in John's name and joined forces with other families in the neighborhood.

The McNicholas' are one of five Beverly families who have lost a son or daughter to a brain tumor in recent years. Amy told FOX 32 News that it's now her life's work to help other families who face similar circumstances.

On the Saturday after Thanksgiving, they will once again hit the road for their Turkey Trot. Local alderman Matt O'Shea grew up two doors down from John McNicholas. He will also be attending the event, which aims to spread awareness and raise money for research to find a cure for pediatric brain tumors.

When the Turkey Trot is done, The John McNicholas Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation's first $200,000 grant will be awarded to a lucky researcher, to find better care and a better cure.

What a way to honor and remember young John McNicholas!

To find out more, visit The John McNicholas Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation's website.

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