Hey there, it's Makenna! As many of you know, I live with a disease that goes by the name of cystic fibrosis. I was diagnosed shortly after birth, underwent several surgeries, and was quickly airlifted to Minneapolis, MN. Here, my family stayed by my side for three months while I was cared for by an amazing team at the University of Minnesota Medical Center NICU. Since those days, my family, friends, and I have never stopped fighting.
For those who do not know, cystic fibrosis is a chronic, life-threatening disease that causes a thick, sticky mucus build up in many organs of the body. If it is still confusing to you (it still confuses me sometimes, too!), I'll put it into simpler terms. Thick, sticky mucus make it hard to breathe, causes lung infections, inhibits the release of digestive enzymes, makes it hard to gain weight, causes extreme GI issues, liver disease, male infertility, chronically inflammed sinuses and many other symptoms. If you would like more information, please follow this link (https://www.cff.org/What-is-CF/About-Cystic-Fibrosis/) or even reach out to me!
In the past few years, my battles have become more numerous, my strength has grown, and I have realized more than ever how crucial a cure really is. The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation was formed by a group of concerned parents and has grown into the world's leader in the fight for a cure. Nearly every CF-specific drug was made possible by the funds of this donor-funded, nonprofit organization. There are even drugs in trial now for my specific mutation, double delta 508.
Therefore, I have decided to form my first team for Great Strides (CFF's largest fundraiser)! Great Strides is a wonderful event where groups of people who are committed to a cure can come together to walk for a greater cause. The walk will be held in Minneapolis, MN on May 4th, 2019. I would love to have anyone and everyone join me on the walk! To become a member of our team, just click on the "Join our Team" button. From there, you can make a donation and start fundraising! If you cannot make it to the walk, please consider donating to Makenna's Mission Marchers to help fight cystic fibrosis!
By joining our team or making a donation, you are joining a growing group of people committed to finding a cure for cystic fibrosis. We will not rest until all those with cystic fibrosis have a cure. The time is now. Together, we can conquer this disease.
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.