Running For Charity: Colortyme Franchisee Raises Money And Awareness For Children's Hospital

This April will mark the third year in a row that Al Coelho has run the 26-mile Boston Marathon. That's a significant achievement. But it's only a part of what Coelho will do that day.

The Providence, RI, ColorTyme franchisee will once again partner with a patient at Children's Hospital Boston to raise money and awareness for the hospital. This year it will be Nathaniel Giannandrea, a patient since he was just nine days old.

Nathaniel's mom, Lia, learned that her son had cystic fibrosis when he was seven days old. Now two and a half years old, Nathaniel is no stranger to the hospital, as it has played an enormous role in his care, says Lia.

"Children's has always been fantastic to us," says Giannandrea. "We live more than two hours away and they always schedule all his doctor appointments on the same day, back to back, so we don't have to make so many trips. They are wonderful, and we want to do whatever we can to help and give back to them."

Cystic fibrosis is a recessive genetic disease affecting the lungs most critically, as well as the pancreas, liver, and intestine. It is characterized by abnormal transport of chloride and sodium across epithelium, which leads to thick, viscous secretions. There are approximately 1000 new cases diagnosed in the United States each year. Technically a rare disease, cystic fibrosis is ranked as one of the most widespread life-shortening genetic diseases. In 1959, the median age of survival of children with cystic fibrosis in the U.S. was six months; now, with constant care and treatment it is 37.4 years. The Vertex company is working on a cure, however it is not a cure for the cystic fibrosis mutation that Nathaniel carries, Coelho says.

"There are many mutations of CF, so there are many people like Nathaniel who will suffer and require constant care for many years," says Coelho. "Please support us in helping Children's Hospital Boston in treating Nathaniel and the thousands of children they treat each year that have chronic illnesses."

Coelho is hoping to raise $20,000 this year for the hospital. To support his cause and donate, please visit

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