Mansfield family turns son’s difficult health diagnosis into opportunity to give back for holidays

MANSFIELD, Mass. — An update on a Mansfield family that has touched so many hearts.

Boston 25 first introduced this local family of five last year after their 5-year-old son David Barrick was diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, a progressive disease that has no cure.

In the middle of the difficult diagnosis, David’s parents, Tom and Nicole Barrick, went to work to make sure other families like theirs could still enjoy the holidays. And they are back this year with a renewed mission.

“He’s a happy kid in kindergarten, who loves swimming and playing with trucks,” said Tom Barrick.

David is also spending a lot of time at the hospital for check-ups, scans, and blood work, but the sweet boy smiles through it all, his parents tell Boston 25 News.

Duchenne causes the body’s muscles to deteriorate over time. Most people with the condition only live into their 20s.

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 who started JB’s Keys to DMD for her son 13 years ago. Together they raised more than $130,000 last winter to provide holiday gifts and unique experiences like adaptive skiing and travel costs for clinical trials.

“There was a couple of emails we got from people who said they were in tears from our story,” said Tom Barrick. “I had no idea I was going to help provide Christmas to so many families.”

Generous viewers donated after seeing their story in 2022 allowing JB’s Keys to support 81 families with $750 gift cards and more.

JB Harvey unfortunately passed away this past summer after suffering from heart failure at the young age of 15.

“You know, there isn’t a kid in New England who has Duchenne who hasn’t been impacted by JB’s Keys to DMD,” said Tom Barrick.

JB and his family raised more than $4 million for the Duchenne community and the Barrick’s are hoping this year’s holiday drive will keep his legacy, generosity, and resilience going.

“If you get caught up looking ahead about all these things, all these potential difficulties, then you’re not living in the present moment. And this entire fundraiser this entire campaign, everything about Find YOUR David is about living in the present moment,” said Tom Barrick.

To honor JB, Find YOUR David will also be funding cardiac research for DMD patients. Also if you have a child living with Duchenne or know someone in New England who does, apply for the holiday assistance.

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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