I received an email from Riverside resident Gelse Tkalec recently, which caught my eye.

The Tkalecs are the parents of Ethan (you may have read about him before in the Landmark), a lovable fourth-grader at Ames School in Riverside, who charms all who meet him with his big smile.

Ethan has GAN, giant axonal neuropathy. GAN, according to the Hannah’s Hope website, which raises money to combat the disease, is “a recessively inherited condition that results in progressive nerve death.”

According to Hannah’s Hope, GAN often “appears in early childhood … and progresses slowly as neuronal injury becomes more severe.”

Ethan now uses a wheelchair, but you don’t notice it because of his blonde hair and that big smile. That is what Ethan is about.

Not much has been written about the condition unless you know Ethan’s mother, Gelse, who has been an advocate for bringing to light just what GAN is. She founded the All In For Ethan Foundation and has held several fund raisers locally.

Very familiar with the subject and the family is Colleen Lieggi, the principal at Ames School, which Ethan attends.

Lieggi will be running this year’s Chicago Marathon to raise money for All In For Ethan. Her goal is to raise $3,000, and to date she has raised close to $2,300. Hopefully she will exceed her goal.

If you’d like to donate money to Lieggi for the race, visit online at www.gofundme.com/16m1sw.

You can also help by sending a donation to All In For Ethan at P.O. Box 94, Riverside, Ill. 60546.

Find out more about All In For Ethan by visiting its Facebook page www.facebook.com/AllInForEthan.

The marathon, which started in 1977, is now a premier race that attracts about 45,000 runners from around the world. The race also allows people to form teams or choose a charity they will run for. So here is your chance to be part of the marathon – and you don’t have to run. Just sign up to support Ethan Tkalec and Colleen Lieggi.