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Ballston Spa names Lucas DeFabio Grand Marshal

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Albany/HV: Ballston Spa names Lucas DeFabio Grand Marshal
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Ballston Spa names Lucas DeFabio Grand Marshal of their Annual Holiday Parade. YNN's Erin Vannella has more on the story.

BALLSTON SPA, N.Y. -- "They say it takes a village to raise a child and this is the village of friends so it's the perfect place," said Dan DeFabio.

Lucas DeFabio, 5, smiles his thank you to Ballston Spa for naming him Grand Marshal of their Annual Holiday Parade.

"They've spent years coming to the parade sitting on the sidelines so feeling that kind of excitement tonight I think they'll be a little amped up," said DeFabio.

Lucas has Menkes Disease which inhibits neural, muscular and hair growth all because he can't process copper. But none of that, his father says, affects his being a big brother or a role model for his neighbors.

"He loves his people. He knows his family and close friends and that network of people," said DeFabio.

"I just think it highlights our unique differences and there's a place and a fit," says Ballston Spa Principal Kristi Jensen.

And it's not just special holiday treatment either. Raising awareness for the disease is a lifelong mission for family friends. Since few diagnosed survive past three, it's not only important, but critical to give those like Lucas a reason to smile.

"I hope they know how much they are supported. They're very quiet and just go about their business but they have to know we're here as a community for them," said Jensen.

"It's a real flattering kind of honor for us to feel embraced by the community that way. But this is sort of above and beyond embracing our family," said DeFabio.

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