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Father-To-Be Running Boston Marathon For Daughter With Down Syndrome

BOSTON (CBS) - Oliver Foley is familiar with the grueling training it takes to run the Boston Marathon.

But this time, he has extra motivation pushing him every step of the way.

"We were 11 weeks into the pregnancy when we learned about the diagnosis," he told WBZ-TV.

Oliver and Kinnon Foley
Oliver and Kinnon Foley. (WBZ-TV)

Oliver and his wife Kinnon are expecting their first child - a baby girl named Tenley.

It wasn't easy when they learned their daughter will be born with Down syndrome.

tenley foley
Tenley's ultrasound image. (Photo credit: Foley family)

"It was really hard at first," Kinnon told WBZ. "You have this vision of who your child is when you're pregnant and to get something that changes what that vision is is really challenging."

But when their doctors connected them with the Massachusetts Down Syndrome Congress things began to look up.

"They have the perspective that this isn't something to be sad about. Your life and the lives of your friends and family will be enriched by your daughter," Oliver said.

The MDSC has already made a huge impact by providing a support network for the couple and they will be an advocate for Tenley throughout her life.

So when Oliver learned the organization had just one bib left to run in the Boston Marathon, he knew it was the perfect way to give back.

Oliver Foley
Oliver Foley (WBZ-TV)

"This just seemed like the perfect opportunity to do it and raise money for a cause that's incredibly personal to us," he said.

Foley hit the ground running, with training and with fundraising, quickly leaving his original goal of $15,000 in the dust. He's now topped $59,000.

"We know every dollar raised for MDSC our daughter, over the course of her lifetime, will get 10 times that back in terms of compassion and support from them," he said.

That's not the only thing that will be pushing Oliver along the race course.

He's also running to honor Kinnon's late uncle, Chris McCall, who also had Down syndrome.

Chris McCall
Chris McCall. (Photo credit: Foley family)

"(He) inspired everybody he came to know and in a lot of ways paved the way for our daughter," he said.

In what Oliver and Kinnon can only describe as fate, baby Tenley is expected to come into the world on Chris's birthday, Just a couple weeks after the marathon.

Oliver Foley
Tenley Foley's crib. (WBZ-TV)

"Now we're just really excited for her to get here," Kinnon said.

"It seems like literally and figuratively the finish line," Oliver told WBZ.

If you'd like to contribute, visit Oliver's fundraising page here.

WBZ-TV is proud to be the only local station bringing you live wire-to-wire coverage of the marathon on air and online.  Live coverage begins Monday, April 17 at 4:30 a.m.

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