Boy, 8, raises money for MS in honor of uncle

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The 2018 Walk MS begins at Edward Little High School in Auburn on Saturday morning. Walk MS is a fundraiser dedicated to ending multiple sclerosis. (Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal)

AUBURN — Brody Lovely of Poland turned 8 a couple of weeks ago, and instead of birthday gifts, he asked friends and family for donations to Walk MS, a fundraiser dedicated to ending multiple sclerosis.

Brody’s goal this year was to raise $500. He raised $750.

His great-uncle, Albert Mayberry, a Vietnam veteran, was diagnosed with progressive MS in 1998. Members of the family began walking in MS fundraisers to show their support.

“It wasn’t until 2007 that we got going as a team,” said Mayberry’s wife, Diane. “We have a good support system. We’re blessed that way.”

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The first year the team walked, Albert Mayberry was able to walk the 5 miles, but over the past five years, his MS has progressed rapidly, Diane Mayberry said. 

He still participates in the walks, however, as captain of the team and enjoys rolling along in his wheelchair with his family.

This will be the 11th consecutive year that team “AL B J” — made up of 10 to 15 members of Mayberry’s family — has participated in the walk in Auburn.

Brody joined the group, cruising in a stroller, when he was just over a year old.

“The MS walk is something he’s done since he was a baby, so it really means something to him,” said his mother, Whitney Lovely.

Brody began asking for donations as birthday gifts last year. Inspired by a friend who had raised money to donate to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Brody said he wanted to donate to a cause that affects the people he loves.

“Last year, he set a goal to raise $200 for the walk and we were talking about how he was going to do that,” his mother said. “When I asked him what he wanted for his birthday, he said that he didn’t know, he didn’t really need anything.” 

Then Brody had the idea to ask for donations. He raised $473.

“I wanted to get donations for MS because that’s more important than presents,” Brody said. “I love my Uncle Albert and maybe the money I earn will help find a cure for him and other people with MS.” 

His Great-Aunt Diane Mayberry said the family is very proud of Brody.

“(He’s) a very sweet, special boy,” she said.

emarquis@sunmediagroup.net

The 2018 Walk MS begins at Edward Little High School in Auburn on Saturday morning. (Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal)

Brody Lovely, 8, of Poland, is lifted into the air at the finish line of Walk MS in Auburn on Saturday. Brody raised $750 in donations for the fundraiser dedicated to ending multiple sclerosis. (Whitney Lovely photo)

The 2018 Walk MS begins at Edward Little High School in Auburn on Saturday morning. (Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal) 

The 2018 Walk MS begins at Edward Little High School in Auburn on Saturday morning. (Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal)

The 2018 Walk MS begins at Edward Little High School in Auburn on Saturday morning. (Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal)

The 2018 Walk MS begins at Edward Little High School in Auburn on Saturday morning. (Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal)

The 2018 Walk MS begins at Edward Little High School in Auburn on Saturday morning. (Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal)

The 2018 Walk MS begins at Edward Little High School in Auburn on Saturday morning. (Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal)

The 2018 Walk MS begins at Edward Little High School in Auburn on Saturday morning. (Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal)

Brody Lovely, 8, of Poland, pushes his great-uncle, Albert Mayberry, up Harris Street in Auburn on Saturday at the start of the 2018 Walk MS, a fundraiser dedicated to ending multiple sclerosis.  (Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal)

Brody Lovely, right, of Poland, and his great-uncle Albert Mayberry, left, at Lovely’s first MS Walk in 2010, when Brody was just over a year old. (Whitney Lovely photo)

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