Human Interest Dad Pushes Daughter with Rare Disease in Wheelchair as They Finish Boston Marathon Together Greg MacCurtain is running with his daughter Abby to raise money to find a cure for her neurological disorder, Leigh's Disease By Joelle Goldstein Joelle Goldstein Twitter Joelle Goldstein is a TV Staff Editor for PEOPLE Digital. She has been with the brand for nearly five years, beginning her time as a digital news writer, where she covered everything from entertainment news to crime stories and royal tours. Since then, she has worked as a writer-reporter on the Human Interest team and an associate editor on the TV team. In her current role, Joelle oversees all things TV and enjoys being able to say she has to watch The Kardashians and America's Got Talent for "work". Prior to joining PEOPLE, Joelle was employed at The Hollywood Reporter. She graduated from Ithaca College with a Bachelors in Television-Radio (and an appearance in the NCAA Women's Volleyball Final Four!) People Editorial Guidelines Published on October 19, 2021 07:14 PM Share Tweet Pin Email A Massachusetts father is going the distance with his 10-year-old daughter as they race to find a cure for her rare neurological disorder. Greg MacCurtain and his daughter Abigail "Abby" MacCurtain recently competed in their second consecutive virtual Boston Marathon on Oct. 10. Greg pushed Abby in a running wheelchair as they raised money for research on Leigh's disease, with which Abby was diagnosed as an infant. Competing under the name "Team Abby Mac," the pair have raised over $10,000 this year, which Greg says is a testament to Abby's positive spirit. "It feels great," Greg, 44, tells PEOPLE (The TV Show!) on Tuesday's episode. "With any marathon, there's a lot of ups and downs... but she keeps me going. She's all smiles." "I know it's Abby's bright smile and laughter and determination and her fight to beat this disease that everyone sees," he adds. "Everyone is quite supportive of and advocating hard for Abby. We're very thankful for that." Greg MacCurtain and his daughter Abby. Greg MacCurtain Mom Swims Across America to Honor 14-Year-Old Daughter Who Died of Cancer: 'She Inspired All of Us' Abby was just 9 months old when she was diagnosed with Leigh's disease, Greg says. The inherited disease, which affects the central nervous system, is typically caused by mutations in mitochondrial DNA, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. In Abby's case, Greg says his daughter has been "affected globally" and the disease has slowly shut down her body's functioning. Greg MacCurtain and Abby as a baby. Greg MacCurtain Today, the 10-year-old girl requires a wheelchair and a G-tube feeding regimen and is non-verbal. "It was really tough in the beginning," he explains. "We didn't have any of those baby milestones that every parent kind of looks forward to. That was tough for us." "They said her life expectancy would be about two years from diagnosis," adds Greg, who also has 9-year-old son Tomas. "So we obviously surpassed that, thankfully." Despite her condition, Greg has always made an effort to keep Abby active by having her participate in triathlons, marathons, 5K races, 10K races and half marathons with him. Greg MacCurtain and his daughter Abby at the Boston Marathon. Greg MacCurtain Dick Hoyt, 72, and Son Rick, 51, Complete 1,000 Races for Charity The father-daughter tradition started with a triathlon when Abby was 5, Greg says. "She loved it," he explains. "For the swimming part, she's in a one-person inflatable kayak [and] I have a rope attached to me. When we get out, I pick her up and we run to the bike." During the biking portion, Greg says Abby is harnessed into a seven-foot-long bike from Copenhagen called a Triobike. "She sits in the front and it's almost like she's got the front seat of a rollercoaster," he notes. "We go for a little ride, and we finish that and then we get back in the running chair and we finish that." The task has been no easy feat for Greg, who notes how he's had to train every morning at 5 a.m. to be able to compete with his daughter. Greg MacCurtain and his daughter Abby. Greg MacCurtain Though challenging, the father of two says every moment has been worthwhile. "We prefer to run together," he notes. "That's what we're doing yearly up until COVID. We haven't done [a triathlon] since, but we plan to get back into it." With their most recent race, the 2021 Boston Marathon, Greg says they opted to compete virtually. However, because they live in Plymouth, they were able to run the exact same route as the in-person marathon on Oct. 11. "Since our backyard is the marathon route, we still ran the route," he says, noting how Abby provided inspiration during tough moments of the race. Abby MacCurtain. Greg MacCurtain Dad Runs Marathon with Empty Stroller to Honor Stillborn Baby: 'I Lost My Son and I'm Not Getting Him Back' "She knows when I'm struggling. And she kind of looks back up at me and she does laugh at me," he explains. "Say I'm pushing her uphill, so she's a little more inclined. I'm a little over her, and she's looking up at me, smiling and laughing. And it makes me smile back and forget about the suffering from the running." "Abby gets really excited about doing these races and doing fun things together," he adds. "She enjoys the wind in her hair." Greg MacCurtain crossing the finish line with his daughter Abby. Greg MacCurtain With more races slated for the fall and winter, the father hopes they'll be able to inspire others. "She's making this world a better place, and we are trying to make it a better place for other parents that are going down our road," he says. "Maybe they're new to it, so hopefully we can make it a little bit easier that way." "We've always hung on for hope and eventually treatment and a cure," he adds, "and we're working towards that." Catch People (the TV show!) Monday through Friday. Check your local listings for exact times or stream the show every day at 7 p.m. ET/ 4 p.m. PT at People.com and PeopleTV.com.