BOSTON (CBS) – He had chubby little cheeks, curly hair and a smile that was constant. To look at a picture of Colin McGrath is to want to smile and cry all at once.
“You would see the laugh in his eyes before it came out of his mouth,” his mom Kerri McGrath said, describing Colin’s laughing eyes while his dad remembers the oversized personality.
“He was a torrent of energy all the time. It was infectious frankly,” says Brendan McGrath.
Last July, Colin, not quite three years-old, and his four-year-old sister Sloane were coming back from the playground. They were a block from their South Boston home when two cars collided. One went up onto the sidewalk and into Colin’s stroller. Colin didn’t survive. Sloane has had several surgeries but is now physically fine.
“She talks about him all the time which is good and she has a locket that she wears with a picture of her and him. And you can tell when she’s having a hard day because she’ll play with it more often,” Kerri says.
South Boston rallied around the McGraths after the tragedy. Now, the family wants to thank their neighbors and give back to the community all in Colin’s name.
The McGraths have started Colin’s Joy Project.
Through the foundation- which celebrates the joy Colin had in everything he did- the McGraths are planning two new playgrounds in South Boston and an outdoor reading area at the spot of the accident that took his life. Colin’s Joy Project will also help young moms in need.
“It does still feel like I’m taking care of him and that does help,” Kerri said. “It makes you feel like you are still his mom.”
Colin’s mom will also run the Boston Marathon to raise money for Colin’s Joy Foundation. She will be part of a team of ten.
It’s her first marathon but there is no stopping her. “No hill or joint pain or muscle ache will ever compare to the pain we have gone through,” Kerri said. “It’s like bring it on.”
If you’d like to give to Kerri McGrath’s marathon fundraising you can do so at www.crowdrise.com/kerri-mcgrath