Running with a purpose

Ray Allen's mother, Flo Allen-Hopson, will run the Boston Marathon again on Monday to raise awareness of childhood diabetes:

As the mother of NBA champion Ray Allen, Flo Allen-Hopson is best known for wearing her bedazzled No. 20 jersey while cheering for her son at Boston's TD Garden. But don't let her jeweled attire fool you; Allen's 56-year-old mom can probably kick your butt in a foot race.

That's because when she's not in the crowd supporting her son, she's pounding the pavement in preparation for her third consecutive Boston Marathon on Monday. Allen-Hopson once again is running to raise funds for the Joslin Diabetes Center.

Allen-Hopson has been active her entire life, playing semipro basketball in the United Kingdom and going to cycling class at her local gym, but running was never part of her routine. That changed four years ago when a devastating disease hit close to home.

In 2008, Ray Allen's youngest son, Walker, was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, also known as juvenile diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is a chronic disease in which a child's pancreas no longer produces the insulin needed to survive. Allen was by his son's side when he was hospitalized due to diabetic complications during the Celtics' 2008 champion run.

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