People News

Brycen, 7, Teams up with Officer to Fight Rare Disease

4.5 from 2 votes
Tuesday, February 19, 2019

SOMERSWORTH, USA. A Somersworth family is looking for a hat trick of community support to send Rochester police officer Keith MacKenzie to next month's annual Battle of the Badges hockey game in honor of a boy fighting a rare disease.

The family is hoping for a large turnout this Saturday at a community spaghetti dinner and raffle night to raise the funds MacKenzie needs to skate in honor of Brycen Allen Berube, 7, of Somersworth, for the third year in a row.

Brycen has the rare genetic disease neurofibromatosis Type 1 (NF1), which has caused multiple tumors in his brain and behind his optic nerves. This year, Brycen gets to drop the puck during the ceremonial opening faceoff at Battle of the Badges, adding a special layer to his favorite part of Children's Hospital at Dartmouth's annual police vs. firefighters game.

"When the blue team wins," Brycen said when asked what he enjoys most about the game, referring to the fact Team Police has the bested red Team Fire each of the last three years.

The spaghetti and meatballs fundraiser for MacKenzie and Brycen is from 5 to 8 p.m. Saturday at American Legion Post 69 in Somersworth. The all-you-can-eat dinner costs $8 for adults and $5 for children, according to Tammy Ruddy, Brycen's grandmother and guardian.

Ruddy said numerous Tri-City businesses and organizations have donated food and support, as well as gift cards and items for raffles. She said the significant community support they've already received makes her confident they'll surpass the $1,500 MacKenzie must raise to play in CHaD's Battle of the Badges.

"The support is overwhelming," said Ruddy, the Somersworth Housing Authority's public housing coordinator.

Since 2008, the game has used good-natured first responder rivalry to raise money to provide critical child and family support services while children receive intensive care and treatment for cancer and other chronic illnesses at CHaD. The 2018 Battle of the Badges raised a record $286,000 in 2018, according to CHaD's website for the game,

Author: Kyle Stucker
Source: Fosters Daily Democrat
4.5 from 2 votes
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