When Aimee Dubois runs the Boston Marathon® on the Xtra Mile team in April, she'll be doing more than accomplishing a personal goal.
"The marathon is for me, but it's also for my Aunt Celeste, my Papa and the 13,326 other athletes," she said. "On days I don't feel like going on a run, I remember that it is so much greater than me.
"Growing up she would watch her Aunt Celeste compete in Special Olympics events at home on the Cape and at Summer Games in Boston. Her grandmother was a longtime volunteer until she passed away when Aimee was four. Her grandfather, Raymond Dubois, is now 92 years old and still volunteers with programs on the Cape.
Up until 2017 he drove athletes to and from Summer Games in Boston. When he could no longer go, Aimee made sure she could be there to support her aunt. It was that day Aimee decided she would be making Special Olympics Massachusetts a top priority in her life.
"I told my aunt 'I'll be there!' When I called her name from across the track, I can't describe the feeling when she saw me and yelled 'Aimee!!'"
Since then she has volunteered at events in Boston and recently volunteered at Senior Sports Classic in Barnstable where she was able to cheer for her aunt and support all of the other athletes.
Fundraising and Family
With 3 months until Marathon Monday, Aimee has already cleared the $10,000 mark and is confident she will reach her fundraising goal of $13,327.
"A lot of people have asked me, 'Why $13,327?' and I tell them it's a dollar for every athlete," she said.
Her strategy for fundraising has included a lot of personal emails, phone calls and conversations. Through this process she has discovered just how many people have personal connections to Special Olympics. Because of her family's involvement in the organization many family members and friends have been excited to help her reach her goal.
"It has been one of my biggest 'aha' moments. So many people have connections," Aimee said. "It's a humbling the experience to see how many families it serves.
"To raise those final dollars, she has a spin class fundraiser scheduled and also hopes to do a Polar Plunge.
While the Boston Marathon and Xtra Mile team had been on her radar for a while, this year everything came together. She has run several half marathons and feels prepared to take on the 26.2 miles.
"My first marathon, in my home city, for my family."