Thank you for visiting our page. I want to tell you a little about Zach and his life story. Zach was born in January of 2004. He was five and a half weeks early and a little fella. His birth went well and he was released from the hospital at two days old. When he was six days old, he had not had a bowel movement. Little did we know, that signified the potential for a much larger problem. So off we went to the doctor. That day and the coming weeks sent us into a whirlwind of emotions and fears as Zach's health went on a wild roller coaster ride.
After his first of many surgeries, we were informed that he was born with a problem that most often was followed by one of two lifelong diseases. One of these is Cystic Fibrosis and if you're reading this, you are already aware that Zach lives with this. It affects its patients in different ways and with different extremes. In the early months of his life, Zach's case was pretty extreme. Without going through ALL of the details and struggles of these first few months, I will tell you that there were times we did not know if he would make it. He spent four months in the hospital and at least half of that time was spent in ICU. He suffered from septic shock at one point and I feel like I can remember that day like it was yesterday. That was the scariest day of our lives. As he was being rushed off to surgery, the doctors turned to us and informed us that they couldn't be certain he would make it back. Well, he pulled through it like a champ! Praise God! I bet I prayed more that day than I did in the previous 20 years of my life.
Fast forward 15 years. Zach is one of the happiest kids you'll ever meet. At this point, he has had 14+ surgeries. Honestly, without looking back through records, I've lost count. He has a very large regiment of medications that he takes and treatments that he does each day. Breathing treatments, chest percussion treatments, both in the morning and evening, and so many pills that he has a pill container/separator that you most commonly see with elderly folks. We've attempted one new medication that could prolong his life expectancy and slow the decline in his lung function, but it negatively affected his liver in such a way that he had to stop taking it. He also suffers from cirrhosis of the liver due to a supplement he was on for an extended period of time while a baby in the hospital. He is also still on a feeding tube each night while he sleeps.
Like any child or even adult for that matter, there are times he wonders why he had to be born with this disease. That said, he never lets it get him down. I say never because if he does, he certainly does not show it. Zach is full of life, loves to make people laugh, and will converse with anyone that he knows. If you're a stranger and one of us is around, he will converse with you, too. He is polite and genuinely cares about people. He is smart and funny. He also administers all of his medications on his own. He is just an all around good kid and a blessing to be around. I truly believe that he has touched many lives and will continue to do so.
What we ask for today is your support in furthering study of treatment and hopefully a cure for this nasty disease. No amount is too small. You would be surprised how quickly even a couple of dollars adds up when many people contribute.
Join our team and help add tomorrows!
There are approximately 30,000 Americans living with cystic fibrosis. They are moms, dads, sisters, brothers, daughters, sons, friends and co-workers who struggle every day just to breathe. We walk for them. Will you join us? All we need you to do to become a member of our team is click on the "Join our Team" button. From there you can make a donation and start your fundraising.
By becoming a member of our team and making a donation, you are joining a growing group of people committed to finding a cure for cystic fibrosis. Together, we are adding tomorrows to the lives of people living with CF by supporting the search for a cure.
Great Strides is a fun, family-friendly event that raises awareness and support for people with CF and their families.
Important note on Attendance at Foundation Events:
Infections can exacerbate CF symptoms and worsen lung function, so we ask attendees at Foundation-sponsored events to observe the following best practices to reduce the risk of germ transmission:
Regularly wash hands with soap and water or with an alcohol-based hand gel.
Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or your inner elbow.
Maintain a safe 6-foot distance from anyone with a cold or infection.
To further reduce the risk of cross-infection, the Foundation’s attendance policy recommends that all people with CF maintain a safe 6-foot distance from each other at all times while attending an outdoor Foundation-sponsored event. All Great Strides walks are non-smoking events.