The expectant dad has helped raise over $64,000 in his daughter's honor, to benefit charity.
Oliver Foley and his wife, Kinnon, found out at just 11 weeks that their unborn daughter, whom they’ve named Tenley, has Down syndrome. “It was really hard at first,“ Kinnon admitted to WBZ. “You have this vision of who your child is when you’re pregnant and to get something that changes [that] is really challenging.”
But it wasn’t long before the young couple found great comfort through connecting with parents who knew exactly what they were going through. Their doctors urged them to get in touch with the Massachusetts Down Syndrome Congress, which proved to be nothing short of a blessing for them, providing uplifting connections and support.
“They have the perspective that this isn’t something to be sad about. Your life and the lives of your friends and family will be enriched by your [child],” Oliver explained, proving the power of perspective in difficult times.
It was roughly a month and a half after finding out about Tenley’s diagnosis that the brave new father made the decision to run the Boston Marathon in her honor. “I learned the Massachusetts Down Syndrome Congress had one bib left. It felt like it was meant to be.” He got to work training for the event, even setting up a fundraising page, with all proceeds going to the Congress. Oliver’s initial goal was to raise $15,000, which he told ABC News was “aggressive but achievable.” Amazingly, he managed to pass that goal and has currently raised well over $64,000.
It’s not only little Tenley who’s motivating Oliver, though. Kinnon’s uncle, Chris McCall, who sadly passed away in 2012, also had Down syndrome. “He was the most wonderful, loving, kind person,” the young mother affectionately described her uncle. “He brought incredible joy to his siblings and profoundly affected my mom and dad’s lives.”
To add to the sweetness of the Foleys’ story, Chris’ birthday, May 3, is also Tenley’s due date. “[We’re] just really excited for her to get here,” Kinnon said of the baby girl they’re anxious to meet.
Oliver ran the prominent Boston marathon on Monday, along with an estimated 30,000 other runners. Undoubtedly, he had Chris and, of course, Tenley on his mind for every mile, as he awaited the day he can finally hold her in his arms and joyfully welcome her into his world. “I’m thrilled to have a new running partner,” he wrote, “as I become the guy pushing a stroller on my morning runs.”
Since you are here…
…we’d like to have one more word with you. We are excited to report that Aleteia’s readership is growing at a rapid rate, world-wide! Our team proves its mission every day by providing high-quality content that informs and inspires a Christian life. But quality journalism has a cost and it’s more than ads can cover. We want our articles to be accessible to everyone, free of charge, but we need your help. To continue our efforts to nourish and inspire our Catholic family, your support is invaluable. Become an Aleteia Patron today for as little as $3 a month. May we count on you?