BOSTON (CBS) – Christmas in the City co-founder Jake Kennedy has died after a year-long battle with ALS. He was 65 years old.

Kennedy and his wife Sparky founded the non-profit in 1989. In their first year, they hosted a celebration with gifts for 150 kids. Last year, they served 6,000 Boston-area families.

Jake Kennedy was a physical therapist who became like family to his patients.

Sparky and Jake Kennedy (WBZ-TV)

He ran the Boston Marathon 37 times.

A year ago, shortly after his diagnosis, he told WBZ he still felt like he was the luckiest man alive because of his wife, four children, his job and Christmas in the City.

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