RYE, N.Y. - Finn Kelly of Rye was born with cerebral palsy, which prevents him from walking or talking. His siblings have raised nearly $35,000 for cerebral palsy research and will run for Team Finn in the Sleepy Hollow Half Marathon on Saturday.
Finn's brother Dillon, a junior at Rye High School, will be running the race, along with Eleanor and Tim. His sisters Tatum, 15, and Shane, 10, will be running the last mile, and Ellie will push 8-year-old Finn for the last mile. They have 12 people running on Team Finn and expect about 75 people to come out and cheer them on.
"We wanted to do something for Finn, so it just made sense to run this half-marathon," Dillon said. They started looking into cerebral palsy cures about five months ago and came across the Cerebral Palsy International Research Foundation, an organization researching potential cures for cerebral palsy.
They set up a website and started getting donations through friends, family and their church. They reached out to the foundation, which put their story on its website and helped bring in more donations.
"We never really planned on raising this much money, so it was surprising to us to raise this much," Dillon said. "A lot of the donations came from strangers, which means a lot."
The siblings describe their brother as "easy-going" and "energetic."
"He loves to ski," said Shane. He has special skis that strap onto his wheelchair. "He loves to swim at school and in the summer."
The family has worked with the Miracle League, a baseball league for kids with special needs that Finn plays in during the summer. They coached and acted as buddies for the players, but this is the biggest thing they have done for their brother so far.
Though it's hard to communicate with Finn, the family believes that he is aware of something going on. "He'll definitely be aware the day of the race," said Tatum.