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My Cycle for Life Story:
Back in June of 1995, we were blessed with a little bundle of joy we named Rachel. She stole our hearts instantly, and we were on Cloud Nine! We started to dream about all the things we would do together as she grew up in our family along with her older brother. Then we learned she had cystic fibrosis. Things changed a little. I didn’t know what CF was then, but we were determined to do everything we could to help her surpass the average life expectancy at the time (about 28 years).
As the years went by, Rachel grew and had a happy childhood. With the help of the doctors and staff at Children’s Hospital and the CF Foundation, Rachel did very well, although it was a constant battle with many one- and two-week tune-ups at the hospital, daily treatments at home, and a host of pills & medications to take every day. It became a grind at times.
At 15, Rachel’s health experienced some setbacks. Her lungs were becoming more scarred, and she was put on the lung transplant list. Although breathing became more and more difficult, Rachel’s spirit never faltered. She told her mom again and again, “You can’t give up and live in fear, you gotta have hope!” By God’s grace, and through the loss of another person’s young life and their unselfish family, Rachel received a double lung transplant at 16. Her hope was fulfilled!
The next 7 months were the most wonderful times for Rachel and our family! Rachel was free and could breathe like never before! She grew stronger and spent much of her time singing and laughing, and we laughed with her! One of our greatest joys just 5 months after receiving her new lungs was when she gave her life to the Lord and became a Christian!
Unfortunately, in the 8th month, a rare CF bacteria, typically kept in check by CF meds, took advantage of Rachel’s suppressed immune system (due to the anti-rejection drugs), and she passed away one month after turning 17. We know she’s in Heaven, and has been set free from her health issues, but we sure wish she could have stayed with us longer! We miss her hugs and her laughter!
This year I’m participating in the Colorado Cycle for Life in memory and honor of sweet Rachel, and for those living with CF today, and their families. I hope the funds raised for the CF Foundation through this event will help to support research that will add years to the lives of those with CF, and eventually find a cure!
Just like Rachel had hope, I hope you will support me in this effort! A few dollars today can help add years of tomorrows for somebody with CF.
Help me reach my fundraising goal!