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. In this section, we’ll feature a special person or team who played an integral role in the 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!

Giving Back to My Community

Team: Team MPPD since 2016/ Team Leader: David Apple

For most of my life, I ignored the fact that I was born with cystic fibrosis. But, the older I got, the more my health faltered. In 2012, I truly believed that my health would continue to fail and that I wasn’t going to survive. After being hospitalized for the second time in my life, my lung function hovered at only 50 percent. For the first time, I could not stay active and every breath was a fight for my life.

That year, I enrolled in a clinical trial for a new drug that the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation helped make possible. It changed my life. This new drug made a tremendous impact on me physically, and most importantly, mentally. I could finally begin to dream about the rest of my life – I could actually envision becoming an old man. 

After the clinical trial, I was asked to speak at the Food and Drug Administration committee hearing to talk about my life with CF and the impact of this new treatment, which turned out to be one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, harder than becoming a police officer. I was fighting for my life and for the lives of others. I poured my soul into that speech and learned so much from the experience -- it led me to the CF Foundation. I knew I had to be involved and do my part so that no one with this terrible disease had to feel the way I felt.


Since 2007 I’ve been a police officer at the Menlo Park Police Department. It is a challenging and stressful job, but one that offers me so many opportunities. And, just as sharing what it’s like to live with CF inspires me to give back, so too does working as a police officer.

This past year, with some encouragement from my commander, I decided I wanted to participate in community events. That’s how I became involved in Great Strides. As I considered how to best connect with my community and make a difference, I realized that Great Strides was the perfect avenue.

For the first time in my career, I was open about having CF and started Team MPPD for Great Strides. I invited my friends, family and my colleagues to join me in raising awareness about CF so that, together, we may someday find a cure. The entire Menlo Park Police Department got behind me and Team MPPD.


People I didn’t expect to support the team not only donated, but walked with me at Great Strides. It meant so much to have my commander and colleagues rally around the search for a cure and the research that has changed my life. This first year we had almost 30 people on our team and we raised more than our goal of $4,000. I hope we’ll have an annual team that grows each year.

I am still new to Great Strides and am happy to do what I can to give back to the community that has given me so much. If raising money helps, if telling my story helps, if being open about what it’s like to live with CF helps -- then I’m doing my part in helping to find a cure for CF. 

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Great Strides, Great Stories


Meet David Apple, Team MPPD Team Leader

In 2012 David fought for every breath. Click below and learn how David works to overcome his struggles with CF and works every day to support his community. 

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