Deion Branch Running in Saturday’s Kentucky Derby Mini Marathon in Honor of Son

FOXBORO, Mass. — Patriots wide receiver Deion Branch is taking his charitable work to one of the most famous sporting venues on the planet.

Branch and his foundation will run in Saturday's Kentucky Derby Mini Marathon in honor of his son, Deiondre, who was diagnosed with viral meningitis after birth and given six months to live. But earlier in April, Deiondre celebrated his 11th birthday. He can't walk or talk, though Branch said Deiondre can verbally communicate and is always in a good mood. (To read more about the bond between father and son, click on this story from December 2010).

Branch, who will be joined by Deiondre's twin brother, Deionte, will push Deiondre during the final two and a half miles of the 13.1-mile race.

"He was given six months to live," Branch said. "It's a blessing. For me to sit back and mope and complain about anything, that's not right when he can't get up and play with his brothers and sisters. But each and every day, he has a big smile on his face, and that's what's important. People always ask me, 'How does it relate to football?' Football is only going to last for so long. This is my son. I'm going to have him forever. That's what's most important.''

Branch said Tuesday they have already raised $27,000, and he will match the donation. A portion of the funds will also be donated to the Home of the Innocents, where Deiondre spends most of his time.

Branch will match all donations by Friday's deadline. To donate, click here.

Click on the link to learn more about The Deion Branch Foundation and here to learn more about the Home of the Innocents.

Have a question for Jeff Howe? Send it to him via Twitter at @jeffphowe or send it here. He will pick a few questions to answer every week for his mailbag.

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