Friends of FIRST Run in Boston Marathon

Three friends of Bailey Jones and Kelly Walters ran in the Boston Marathon to raise awareness about ichthyosis and funds for FIRST Carl Whalen, Jr. and John Sherry from St. Mary's, PA and Dave Cavalline, from Ridgway, PA, ran this 26.2 mile race on April 16 to help educate others about this disease. Tracie Pretak, the mother of a 14 year old with lamellar ichthyosis, Bailey Jones, works with Mr. Whalen and learned that he and several others ran the Pittsburgh Marathon last year to benefit Make-A-Wish Foundation. Tracie was pleasantly surprised when Mr. Whalen approached her about raising awareness and funds for FIRST this year while participating in the Boston Marathon. For several years, Tracie and Bailey have been hosting a spiritual concert in their town to help educate others about ichthyosis and to raise funds for FIRST.

Last year, Kelly Walters, 10, who lives nearby and also has ichthyosis, joined their efforts. Kelly and Bailey became fast friends and today they are planning to do more concerts in other towns in their area. The Boston Marathon limits the number of runners to 15,000 and draws a crowd of over 250,000 spectators. It is the only marathon that requires runners to qualify for the race. This was Mr. Whalen's second time in the Boston Marathon but Mr. Cavalline and Mr. Sherry's first time in the historic city. They are all experienced runners with 15 marathons shared between them. Their local media covered this story and FIRST is honored to be included in this exciting event. 

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