There are approximately 30,000 Americans living with cystic fibrosis. They are moms, dads, sisters, brothers, daughters, sons, and friends who struggle every day just to breathe. My twin sister, Abi, is one of them.
I’ve been with her since our first breath through countless long hospital visits and terrifying stays in the ICU. We both struggled with that first breath, but she has struggled with every breath since because of Cystic Fibrosis. I’ve seen the impact of horribly painful surgeries and invasive treatments. I know the many ways this disease attacks her entire body, and I’ve watched people misunderstand or reject her for having a struggle they don’t face. I know the impact of the many antibiotics and drugs she has to take daily, and I know the battles she faces living in a world that doesn’t work to ensure people with diseases and health struggles are really seen, valued, and cared for. I know how much she’s had to give up. I know how many of her battles remain invisible to others, and I know how easily I could lose this beautiful soul I treasure.
But mostly, I know who Abi is beyond CF—a disease so many try to define her by. I’ve seen her tenacity, grace, creativity, and fierce will to never give up. She is one of my heroes and always will be. Abi remains a relentless lover of people, dogs, cooking, and laughter. She makes every person feel their own worth. Abi is compassionate and courageous, and I walk for her and all those like her who I want to be cured.
Abi is one of the most incredible people I know, the person I am grateful to have started my entire existence with, the person who inspires so much of my passion for humanity. I’ll always be honored to have come into the world along side this warrior, dreamer, creator, dancer, beauty. Words can’t do justice for who she is or how much I love her. Anyone who knows her knows the woman I speak about and could probably add novels to tell the stories of all the ways she’s impacted them—in the hospital and far beyond it.
Real progress has been made for those who have CF, but there is still no cure for this devastating disease and many lives are cut far too short. Even a common cold could end in death—quickly, unexpectedly, leaving a hole that can never be replaced. We’ve come so far, but there’s still so much more to do. I will not stop striding until all those with cystic fibrosis have a cure. Will you join me? Donate to Team Abi and join my walk.
Please support me!
I walk for Abi. Join my team in her honor—Team Abi—or make a donation to help me reach my goal. You can walk with me virtually from anywhere in the world or in person in Denver.
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.