Local family turns difficult health diagnosis into opportunity to give back for holidays

MANSFIELD, Mass. — The holiday season is often a time to give back, and one local family found an extraordinary way to do just that, even as they’re dealing with a difficult diagnosis.

The Barrick family from Mansfield learned one of their three children has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy after 4-year-old David was diagnosed this fall.

“He was very off balance, falling a lot when he started walking. So we kind of knew that something was off,” his mom Nicole Barrick told Boston 25 News.

“It’s pretty difficult for any parent, you know, to get that kind of news,” said David’s Dad, Tom Barrick. “You have two choices. You can just bury yourself in that or you can move forward and try and make something out of it that can be great.”

Barrick said a quote from a friend gave them inspiration: “Sometimes God will put a Goliath in your life for you to find the David in you.”

So the family says they started “Find Your David” to honor their son and help other children like him.

They joined forces with another local family living with DMD, Beth Harvey of Dover started JB’s Keys to DMD for her son 13 years ago.

“The road with Duchenne is a very difficult one, it’s a progressive muscle-wasting disease and currently there is no cure,” Harvey said. “A lot of these families have to spend money on medical needs and don’t always have the opportunity to give their kids a Christmas or holiday season.”

The groups have raised money to provide grants for families to help pay for everything from gaming systems and toys to Bruin’s tickets and adaptive ski trips.

“I think it’s important to have fun not just going to the doctor’s appointments all the time,” JB Harvey said.

Since the Barricks received David’s diagnosis, they’ve raised more than $86,000 to fund more than 70 grants.

Past the holiday season, they say they hope to raise awareness and funding for research.

“It makes me feel good knowing that there are hundreds of people here in the commonwealth, very smart people who go to work every day trying to solve this,” said Tom Barrick.

To learn more about these local charities and donate, please visit FindYourDavid.org and jbskeys.org.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

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