Frederick family continues son’s legacy in annual canoe and kayaking race


A Frederick, Md., family is continuing their son’s legacy as they gear up to hold their annual race, which happens to be their first one without him.

This little boy’s name was Daniel Sullivan. His family and close friends called him “Little D.”

At the age of 18 months, he was diagnosed with metachromatic leukodystrophy, a terminal disease.

“Little D” had already beaten the odds that doctors gave him and he was living his life to the fullest, checking off an item of his bucket list his family had started.

“A lot of people followed Daniel, helped Daniel through his times and may have ownership in Daniels life,” said his father, Dan Sullivan. “They helped changed Daniels life and now they are helping change other people’s life.”

But just days after Christmas, “Little D” lost his battle on December 29, 2018.  He was 7-years-old

“Even though Daniel woke up every morning and suffered greatly, he was still happy,” said Sullivan.  “He still made much out of his life as he could…despite the suffering, it was still a great day.”  

Every year, his family holds a canoe and kayaking race on the Monocacy River, called “Little D on the Monocacy.”

This year, will be the first year without “Little D.”

“We remember how we got here and why we are here and carry on in his memory,” said race creator, Steve Corbett. “…a legacy event to try to help other children will terminal illnesses.”

When race day comes, the Sullivan family knows “Little D” will be with them.

The race will be held on Saturday, April 27, 2019,  starting at 10 a.m. For more details, click here.

A new addition to the race is with the Frederick County’s Swiftwater Rescue Team. 

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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