FOREST HILL, Md. (WJZ)—If you like to walk or run you can do it in Harford County on Saturday, and at the same time raise money for the fight against pediatric cancer.
Ron Matz has more on why hundreds will put on their running shoes in memory of an inspirational 7-year-old boy.
Dominic Osorio is remembered in pictures. A brave little boy who lost his battle with a brain tumor two years ago, he was just 7.
“Well, Dominic was my best friend and I helped him fight this horrible disease, so it means everything to me to try to raise awareness,” said Gabrielle Amig, Dominic’s aunt. “That’s all we can do now that we lost him. We want people to come out Saturday. We want to double what we did last year, raise as much money as possible, and of course raise awareness because people don’t realize how horrible pediatric cancer really is.”
Dominic’s mom Nicole Spagna is keeping her son’s memory alive. She formed the D.O. Believe Foundation, raising money for childhood cancer research.
“With community support and so much interest in Dominic’s story, I just felt that it was time we needed to do something to make a difference in pediatric cancer research and awareness,” she said. “I founded the D.O. Believe Foundation (the D.O. stands for Dominic Osorio) to raise awareness and research money for pediatric cancer.”
In June, a motorcycle ride raised $9,000. On Saturday at Blue Dot Services in Forest Hill, it’s the second annual Dominator Walk and Run.
“It’s a good thing to support Nicole,” said Don Jacobs, Blue Dot. “I knew Dominic personally. He was an energetic young boy. To support the D.O. Believe Foundation and for the company to support it, it really comes full circle.”
“Everybody loves to be involved,” said Michelle Jakubiak, Blue Dot. “They want to volunteer, participate and donate — all the way from the service technicians to the call center to executive management; everybody wants to be a part of it. I think Dom has a piece of everybody’s heart, so we’re very supportive.”
Dominic’s mom calls her son an inspiration.
“Shortly after his 5th birthday in 2007 he was diagnosed with a brain tumor and he went through treatment for about two years,” Spagna said. “He had chemotherapy, radiation and a re-section of the tumor two times. He became comatose after it came back in the summer of 2009. He was in a coma for about two months and passed away in November of 2009.”
It’s a reminder that superheroes come in all sizes.
“It touches my heart beyond words to just see so many people still inspired and interested in Dominic and keeping his memory alive, and in his name we’re making a difference and it takes the whole community to do that. It’s very touching,” Spagma said.
Last year, 400 people took part in the inaugural Dominator Walk and Run and raised more than$ 20,000.
“It was really, really amazing. I was so happy,” Spagma said about the inaugural’s success.
For more information on how you can sign up for Saturday’s event, click here.