Great Strides, Great Stories
Great Strides is the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s largest national fundraiser. Every year, families, donors and friends take steps to help support the search for a cure. Each month through the end of the year, we’ll feature a special person or team who played an integral role in the 2014 Great Strides walks. We hope you’ll find this story to be inspiring as we continue to make Great Strides in our efforts to find a cure for CF!
Ketti Sweeney — Team Sweeney
Walk: York Beach, Maine
Chapter: Northern New England Chapter
Team: Team Sweeney, a National Family Team, led by Ketti and Jason Sweeney and their children, Liam, 5, who has CF, Lily, 3, and Luke, 19 months
Impact: Raised $21,340 so far in 2014
Why We Walk
We learned Liam had CF when I was pregnant with him. I learned I was a carrier of the gene. The nurse said it was probably nothing to worry about, but that we should get my husband tested just in case. After the testing, an ultrasound showed that Liam had signs of CF.
We’d never heard of CF before. We did a lot of research on the disease and through that research found the Foundation and the search for a cure. My husband and I decided early on that we’re not only going to be active participants in our son’s life, but active participants in the CF community as well. We got involved in Great Strides a few months later. We want to be part of the cure. It’s become our focus.
How We Fundraise
For the last four years we’ve chaired our chapter’s Swing for CF golf tournament. I don’t golf, but my husband does. Learning how to successfully chair such a large event was a challenge, but we’ve grown as fundraisers and now have better relationships with people in our community. We have a good time doing it, and it raises a lot of money for the CF cause. This year, we had our best tournament yet. We raised more than $76,000!
We like to incorporate our personal interests in our fundraising. In addition to the golf tournament, we host a wine raffle, Super Bowl and March Madness-themed events, restaurant nights and pinup campaigns. We supplement all of that with traditional email and letter-writing campaign. It’s so important to keep people in our lives updated on Liam and the progress being made by the Foundation.
Our Favorite Part of Great Strides
I love seeing so many people come together all for one cause. We have people that drive and fly in from other states to come walk with us. It’s a day of unity and inspiration.
What The Foundation Means to Us
The Foundation is our lifeline. They are an extension of our family, and we treat our local chapter like family. Everything the Foundation does is fighting for a cure, and it means so much to us that so many people are advocating on behalf of my son and all people with this disease.
We have so many dreams for Liam. We want him to be everything he can and wants to be. We want him to live a life that’s happy and free of CF. Until that happens, we’re going to do everything we can to fight for a cure.
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Great Strides, Great Stories
Great Strides team Team Sweeney has raised over $21,000 so far in 2014 to help support the Foundation’s mission.
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