Christian Fauria’s idea to spend at least 24 straight hours on the air started as a goofy whim, a wonder-if-I-could-pull-that-off challenge to himself.
A visit to the doctor by one of his children inspired him to make it so much more.
“It was just something I wanted to see if I could do for a while now. There are a lot of things that are on my list,’’ said Fauria, the former Patriots tight end and host, along with Glenn Ordway and Lou Merloni, of WEEI’s OMF program.
“I remember just watching the Jerry Lewis telethons and wondering if I could do something like that, going 24 or 25 hours straight on the air. I mean, I also thought I could play goalie and I tried that out and I sucked at it, but it’s good to find out if you can do things.
“But nothing pushed me over the edge to attempt it until my son got sick.”
Fauria’s son, Caleb, was recently diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. The news was a shock at first, but it gave Fauria the inspiration to turn his goofy whim into something fun, and for a great cause.
The result is “Christian Fauria’s 25 for 25K,’’ a benefit for the American Diabetes Association during which he’ll broadcast live from 2 p.m. Wednesday until 3 p.m. Thursday in an effort to raise $25,000 for diabetes awareness. More information can be found at diabetes.com/weei.
“I really wanted to raise some money for diabetes awareness and everything surrounding it because I’ve always been involved with charities but I’ve never actually had my own,’’ said Fauria.
“I’ve been lucky in life, quite frankly. I’ve never been affected by anything directly, nobody in my family has had cancer, nobody has died. I’ve been really fortunate in my entire life. So when this happened, I was kind of like … well, it just changed my point of view of a lot of things. So I figured this would be the vehicle that I would use to bring attention and awareness to this disease.
“I didn’t want to have a golf tournament. That’s just not my personality. And I wanted to have some fun with it.”
Fauria’s quest has brought out the A-list of Boston sports stars. Among those who will call in during Fauria’s 25 hours are Larry Bird (Wednesday, 3:30 p.m.), Tom Brady (Wednesday, 5:30 p.m.), Bobby Orr (Thursday, 2:30 p.m.)
There’s also a strong possibility that David Ortiz will call in during the final hour Thursday.
“It’s like the Mt. Rushmore of athletes in this city, but it tells you what they’re all about,’’ said Fauria.
I’ve been pestering Glenn [Ordway, his fellow host and former Celtics broadcaster to get off his ass every single night to get Bird, and he came through,’’ said Fauria with a laugh. “I’m excited about Bird and I’m a Lakers fan.”