Firefighters' annual MDA Boot Drive happening this weekend across South Florida

Posted at 4:43 PM, Sep 02, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-02 19:16:45-04

BOCA RATON, Fla.-- It's that time of year again when firefighters will be seen at local Publix supermarkets, collecting money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

The event hits close to home this year for those working for Palm Beach County Fire Rescue.

One firefighter, Tim Petz, recently learned his son has a form of Muscular Dystrophy.

"You know you plan to have kids that are super healthy. You never plan for this," Petz said.

His son, Logan, has Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

"I'm always into helping somebody else and it comes to be that I need as much of the help as the people we raise money for," Petz said, referring to the Boot Drive.

Petz gets choked up when he describes his son.

"It's always hard to talk about him because he's an amazing boy," he said.

He said he learned his son had the disease a little more than a year ago.

The disease mainly affects boys, many of which don't live past their 20s or 30s.

"A lot of people don't know about Duchenne's muscular dystrophy and these boys do not have time on their side."

One thing Petz has on his side are his "brothers and sisters" with Palm Beach County Fire Rescue.

"They've all had my back. I've had amazing support from Palm Beach County Fire Rescue. Without them.. I don't know where I'd be. It would be really hard," he said.

Throughout the holiday weekend, firefighters will be out at area Publix locations collecting money in their boots.

Last year, firefighters in Palm Beach County collected nearly $80,000. This year they hope to collect $85,000.

Petz is also fundraising on his own, as he prepares to run the New York City Marathon in November.