Any parent of a child who has struggled knows the joy of hearing the words “Mom, I feel normal again.”  Joe Kenney spoke those words after his first summer at the Barton Center for Diabetes Education’s Camp Joslin.  

ABC members gathered last week with a goal of raising $25,000 to benefit the Barton Centerand honor the memory of Joe Kenney, who died of complications from diabetes in 2019.  At last count, we had raised over $42,000 for this worthy cause.

Joe Kenney lost his confidence after being diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes on his eighth birthday.  Having to stop regularly to do readings and inject insulin if his blood sugar was too high or too low would make any eight-year-old feel different from his peers.  

But his first summer working with the counselors/nurses at Camp Joslin gave him back his life.  He went on to be a rising star both at W.T. Kenney, his family’s fourth-generation painting business, and within our chapter.

It was for Joe and the Barton Center that ABC members gathered outdoors next to ABC’s Unicorn Park offices in Woburn for what his father, former ABC Massachusetts Chair Chris Kenney, called “a celebration of friendship, stories and our love for each other.”  That feeling was palpable throughout the evening.  

An action photograph by the Patriots’ photographer, Red Sox-Yankees tickets and a custom cornhole set were all raffled off to benefit the Barton Center.  Joe’s uncle Tim Kenney donated a beautiful bottle of Luis XV champagne that brought $825 from Brian Jurgens, another former ABC Massachusetts chair and Joe’s cousin.

Even the rain held off until the festivities finished.  It was a special night to honor a fine young man who was taken too soon, a great cause and a very special family.


Click Here to See Photos from the Event