KITTERY, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- The Center for Grieving Children is the beneficiary of this year's TD Beach to Beacon 10K. It is a place where families can turn when they are going through the most challenging times in their lives. This year, 6-year old Rusty Cook will be accepting the check on behalf of the Center. He understands well how the agency helps children cope.
Rusty's father, Russell, lost a 13-year battle with cancer two years ago. Rusty says The Center for Grieving Children made a huge difference in his healing. Rusty said, "We could just talk about my dad and everything else, and it was fun because they had a volcano room and stuff."
Rusty mother, Michele, also went to a support group, and it helped talking to others who had a pain similar to hers. "They've had the same loss. Everyone's loss is different, but it's the same thing. It's the same person, a husband, a wife. They understand more than what your friends and family can."
And she says knowing her son was taken care of really helped her, too. "The Center is a place where he can talk freely about this loss, his pain, his struggles, and not have to worry about what Mom -- you know, seeing Mom cry or being worried about that."
And Rusty has experience using sports to help others. Just four days after his father's death, he participated in the kids Pan Mass challenge. "I told them because my Dad would want me to," Rusty said.
The TD Beach to Beacon begins at 8 a.m. Saturday.