WALTHAM - A grateful father thanked young Waltham soccer players, on Saturday morning, for wearing jerseys that have his son's name, Declan.
"It was very touching. It really hit me emotionally to see the school and the students I love representing my son who was just diagnosed with cancer," Bobby Lyons said.
The diagnosis of medulloblastoma in 3-year-old Declan lauched WBZ Meterologist Sarah Wroblewski and her husband Bobby Lyons into a world they knew little about.
Declan will begin chemo on Monday, not even two weeks after he had surgery to remove his brain tumor.
Saturday morning, some of the family joined in the 17 annual "Kicks for Cancer" event; a soccer oriented fundraiser ran by volunteers in the Concord-Carlisle community.
The fundraiser has raised about two million dollars for cancer research.
"It's special to see an entire community rally around something. But it's such an important cause and so many people have touched by it," said Ray Pavlek.
Soccer coach Ray Pavlek started "Kicks for Cancer" when his assistant coach's mom, Lois Wells, died from Ovarian cancer in 2007. The team wore jerseys with her name on it and they raised about $8,000.
"I think she's smiling down on us and so happy to see that its brought together so many people. And it's doing good for the world and hopefully kicking cancer," said Steve Wells.
Now the fundraiser has expanded to a week's worth of events, still anchored by a soccer tournament. Last year the fundraiser raised $170,000 and this year they hope to beat that.
Saturday morning, Waltham entered the fundraiser and played with Declan's name on their shirt.
The young boy's dad who is an associate principal at Waltham High School said his family has been blown away by the outpouring of love and support that they've received.
He's hoping that sharing their story publicly will help educate and inspire others.
"I want make sure we tell his story. When he overcomes this it'll be a wonderful story to tell," said Lyons.
To learn more about the fundraiser or donate, visit their website.
If you would like to follow Declan's journey, the family is posting updates regularly to this online journal.
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