The T-shirts that Nick Kelly and his family and friends wore Thursday symbolized more than just a color coordination for synchronized photos after the 50th AJC Peachtree Road Race

In November, doctors diagnosed Kelly’s then-4-year-old son, Maddox, with leukemia. Commonly affecting children, leukemia is a type of cancer that attacks bone marrow and blood-forming tissues and cells. Within weeks, Kelly’s father and uncles developed a team in training with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society to raise money for their cause. So far, they have raised about $50,000, he said.

Nick Kelly, Lauren Izzo, Chris Buechner and Eric Kelly wear "Maddox Strong" T-shirts during the AJC Peachtree Road Race. Nick's son, Maddox, is battling leukemia, a cancer that attacks blood-forming tissues and cells.
Photo: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Emblazoned on the navy blue shirt — Maddox’s favorite color — is “Maddox Strong” in gold letters. A cancer ribbon substitutes for the letter “O.” Kelly said they ran the race with the shirts to bring awareness not only for his son, but for others who struggle with the disease.

At the finish line, Maddox was waiting for him with a smile on his face, Kelly said. 
“I kept thinking, ‘He has to fight through a lot more,’ so that certainly kept me going when I felt a little bit tired, Kelly said. 

» RELATED: Results, photos and more from the AJC Peachtree Road Race

Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.

Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.