Parents Run Marathon in Daughter's Memory

Just months after Kim and Joao Santos of Franklin, Massachusetts, welcomed twins, Grace and Julia, their happiness turned to heartbreak.

Grace was born with a very severe rare heart defect and after two heart surgeries she fought for about 6 months before passing away.

As part of her healing process, Kim decided to run the Boston Marathon in Grace's memory.

The next year, her husband ran to raise money for Boston Children's Hospital, where Grace spent her entire short life.

Kim explained, "I had twins so I had a newborn as well and I had no problem leaving the hospital because I knew my daughter was loved and it was ok to go away for a couple of hours."

Joao has been running every year since with Julia, who is now almost 7 years old, cheering him on.

He said, "I do it for the kids whether it's my kids or anyone else's kids."

For them the 26.2 miles is nothing compared to their journey as a family.

Fighting back tears, Joao said, "it gives me a lot of strength, a lot of power to get through especially the hills they're tough and I think about how tough it was for our family and everything we went through."

"That's why we do it every year because we want her life to matter and this is our way to give back," said Kim.

This year, Joao is paired with 11-year-old Cameron McPhail as a patient partner. He was born with a heart defect and has been a patient at Boston Children's since then. You can donate here.

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