Cystic fibrosis is a devastating genetic disease that affects the lungs and digestive system. More than ten million Americans are symptomless carriers of the defective CF gene. Advances continue to be made in finding a cure, but your help is needed now -- more than ever -- to help keep up the momentum of this life-saving research. ~www.cff.org
When I was first diagnosed in 1983, most children with CF did not live to see their first day of elementary school. Today, the median predicted age of survival for a person with CF is in the mid-30s. I am happy to say that I reached my 37 birthday this year, but it wasn’t without a miracle- actually two miracles! At the age of 28, I was given my last chance to keep Cystic Fibrosis from taking my life. I received a life-saving double lung/liver transplant. I would not be here today to tell my story of living with Cystic Fibrosis without this gift of life. Five years later, my life was challenged again. I was in renal failure due to my diabetes - caused by CF and made worse by the drugs used to suppress my immune system. I was told I would need a kidney transplant. In 2015, another miracle occurred; I received a kidney from my amazing husband, of 10 years, Troy. Now I can safely say that I can look forward to seeing a cure for CF in my lifetime.
I am proud to say that I am living an incredible life despite my disease. I am a elementary school teacher in an incredible supportive district with amazing colleague and friends. My students keep me active and positive and allow me to spread hope and awareness for those suffering from CF. I am supported at home, at work and through-out the community. With this honor, I aim to inspire joy, hope and faith to everyone who does and does not know about Cystic Fibrosis.
I am incredibly grateful and blessed to have received these medical miracles that have saved my life from this devastating disease. This is remarkable progress, but not good enough. We continue to lose precious lives to CF every day and miracles are hard to come by. I have many friends who have lost their battle with CF- either from lung-infections, waiting for transplant, or becoming too sick to receive a transplant. This has to stop, we need a cure BEFORE transplant is needed!
Please help me meet my fundraising goal by making a donation to your schools dress down coordinator. Your generous gift will be used efficiently and effectively to help support vital CF research, medical and education programs.
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.