Great Strides Fund Raiser Update

Although I have a page devoted to it, I wanted to write about the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Great Strides walk fundraiser.

You’re probably familiar with walks for charities. Participants register and raise money, and then attend the event where they walk a certain distance, earn t-shirts and other prizes, and get to share the camaraderie of patients, families and caregivers.

Although I have worked on other CF fundraisers, this is my first time working on the Great Strides fundraiser. What makes it even more special is that my husband, Ken, is doing it with me. It all started a few months ago after I got out of the hospital. My sisters had come up with the idea of creating a team for the local great strides fundraiser, and that got the ball rolling.

Now we are in the full swing of fund-raising and creating awareness campaign far people who may not know a lot about CF, or people who are just interested in helping.

Our progress so far

Our progress so far

Since we launched our campaign a few days ago, we’ve already received almost $600 in donations. That is simply amazing! I was worried when I set my goal for $1500 that it was too high, but now that so many people are already donating, I think we just might make it!

Building excitement!

Building excitement!

In addition, we’ve had six people register to walk and raise money, and together, we have pledged to raise $2500! I am so excited for the actual event day.

My Purpose in Life

In a way, I feel a little embarrassed about focusing on my disease, but if by doing this, I can help so many other people with CF, it’s worth the effort. Part of this awareness campaign is sharing what CF is doing to me, how it affects my life and my family’s lives. Although sometimes, it’s emotionally difficult to digest exactly what is happening and acknowledging how bad it can get, I think that being candid about my health is the best way to go.

My parents found out that I had CF the day after Christmas, 1972.

My parents found out that I had CF the day after Christmas, 1972.

It’s been a long road. Diagnosed right after my first birthday, I’ve always known that I had CF, but it’s only been the past year or so that I’ve realized that I am right where I need to be. While I’ve done charity work most of my life, this time, it’s personal. I have found my reasons to keep fighting; it’s what keeps me going in the really tough moments – and there have been many. I can help so many more people by sharing my story and by doing things like raising awareness and funds through the CF foundation.

The Generosity of Others

It’s very touching that people I have never met are willing to part with their hard-earned money in this awful economy, and that businesses are interested in helping us out. Someone once told me that people are going to give money anyway, that we just need to give them a reason to give it to us.

The government does not give any financial support to help find treatments and the cure for this disease, so it’s up to each one of us to do so.

There’s a lot of work we need to do before the walk. I am also trying to stay out of the hospital. For the past three years, I been going into the hospital every 5 to 6 months. The weeks leading up to and following these hospitalizations are tough, too. These medications are pretty toxic, so the more that I can do to avoid them, the better.

I will continue to update on our Great Strides progress. The CF Foundation calls it “creating tomorrows.” We call it hope.

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