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!
Jen and Justin Grady – Team Superman
Walk: Avon, held May 3, 2014
Chapter: Connecticut Chapter
Team: Team Superman, led by Jen and Justin Grady and their son, Clark, 5, who has CF and daughter, Ella, 2
Impact: Raised $105,000 so far in 2014
Why I Walk
My son Clark was diagnosed with CF when he was 9 days old. Besides loving him, the best way I can help him is to support the search for a cure. Great Strides allows us to show a positive, outward presence and involve the community in the Foundation’s mission.
We tell everyone that this is no longer just about Clark — it’s about all people with CF. That means we will not stop until everyone’s dream — a cure for this disease — has been realized.
How I Fundraise
Each year we hold a wine and beer tasting fundraiser. We serve more than 200 wines and 50 micro brews and offer a large silent auction and raffle, usually with 150 items. We raised $30,000 our first year and $34,000 our second year. This year we set a new goal, made some changes and were able to raise $90,000 to help support the Foundation’s mission.
We ask everyone we know to donate. No one is immune. We ask anyone we give our business to to help support the cause. We remind store owners, restaurateurs, contractors – you name it — that we give them our money, patronage and loyalty and ask that they support the Foundation in return.
What the Foundation Means to Me
Cystic fibrosis put a hole in my heart and fundraising to support the mission of the Foundation helps make it whole again. Because of the Foundation, we have gone from feeling absolutely devastated, to having cautious hope, to living with genuine optimism.
Advice for Other CF Parents
People don’t like asking others for help, and feel especially uncomfortable asking for money. My advice is to let go of those feelings. Loving and taking care of someone with the disease includes changing the future trajectory of the disease, and fundraising is the only way that can happen.
I want the description of cystic fibrosis to be completely different by the time my son is old enough to read about it on his own. I want it to say that Clark’s life expectancy, along with every other CF patient, is the same as every other child.
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Great Strides, Great Stories
Team Superman has raised $105,000 so far in 2014 to help support the Foundation’s mission.
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