Father running in Boston Marathon to support center that treated daughter

Mike Kendall holds his daughter, 12-year-old Maeve Kendall. Mike will be running in Monday's Boston Marathon.

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Mike Kendall holds his daughter, 12-year-old Maeve Kendall. Mike will be running in Monday's Boston Marathon.

Thousands of people will be running the Boston Marathon on Monday, all with their own reasons. But for one girl from Scituate, Massachusetts, and her father, the motivation is giving back.

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Maeve Kendall was 9 years old when she was diagnosed with a form of leukemia called acute lymphoblastic leukemia antigen, or ALLA.

“At first I was just worried about it. I was like, am I going to die?” said Maeve, now 12.

While ALLA is highly treatable, it was a long road for Maeve and her family with years of treatment.

"Injections in her spine to make sure the cancer doesn't go to her brain; a kid that age shouldn't have to go through that stuff," said her father, Mike Kendall.

The family got through those difficult days with love, hope and the support of the Jimmy Fund and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston.

“I love doing everything they have there, they have crafts. It just makes the experience more easier,” Maeve said.

She’s now cancer-free, but Maeve’s bones are still weak from the treatment. Her dad is her strength.

“He's kind of like my legs, because I can't run. So that's what's cool about it,” she said.

Now her father’s legs are going to carry him 26.2 miles from Hopkinton to Boston to raise money for Dana-Farber.

He his running “to make sure that the next kid or the next man or woman who comes along has a better chance and a better quality of life as their going through treatment,” Kendall said.

Seeing Maeve at the finish line will make it all worthwhile.

“I think about that moment a lot when I'm out there running. That's exactly what I'm doing it for to have that fulfillment at the end,” Kendall said.

The Kendalls are hoping to raise $15,000 for Dana-Farber. To learn more about Mike's run and donate, visit the Run Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge website.

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