My Xtreme Hike Story
What is a warrior? A warrior is "someone who shows or has shown great vigor, courage or aggressiveness; a brave or experienced fighter (dictionary.com)." My children, Josey and Ethan are my warriors. For 13 years now, they have been fighting a disease known as cystic fibrosis. Josey is 16 and Ethan is 13 and they are true warriors who show great courage and vigor on a daily basis.
Let me tell you a little about each of them:
Josey is 16 years old and most people say she is my mini-me. She is on the varsity volleyball and soccer teams at Appomattox High School. She plays on a travel volleyball team in the off season and an indoor soccer team in the winter. Josey is kind-hearted, loves all animals, and laughs and sings constantly! She is growing into a beautiful young lady on the inside and out.
Ethan is 13 years old and loves playing sports and talking sports with his dad. His favorite hobbies are riding his 4-wheeler and fishing! Ethan plays baseball, football, and basketball. Ethan is a very quiet person to most around him, but in his silence, he takes in all that is happening and when he speaks, it's definitely worth listening to! He's got a memory like no other and is very smart. I can truly say knowing Ethan makes your life a bit more complete.
If you ever meet these two you would not know that they have a terminal disease they fight every day. They look like two normal teenagers and they are, but they have a lot more to do on a regular basis. They battle cystic fibrosis every day of their lives. However, they do not let this get them down. They live life to the fullest and make the most of every single day. This is not to say they haven't both faced big challenges and questions throughout their life. Josey has been hospitalized 4 times and had sinus surgery in June of 2015. Ethan faced his first hospitalization in February of 2016. They both handle everything that is thrown at them with courage and strength. When I look at them both, I don't see two teenagers, I see two warriors, two superheroes, because that's what they are...superheroes, my superheroes!
Over these 13 years, Waltons' Warriors has raised approximately $185,000 towards eradicating the very existence of Cystic Fibrosis and we are not stopping now! So much has been learned about how CF operates. So many drugs are in the CF pipeline that will slow the progress of this disease and allow teens, like Josey and Ethan, to live life to the fullest. The FDA approved an exciting new drug, Orkambi, for CF patients ages 6 and up that have two copies of the F508/del mutation in their CFTR gene. CF is the result of missing CFTR proteins or CFTR proteins that are defective, which means they do not work as well as they should. The job of Orkambi is to get more of those proteins to the cell surface and help make those proteins work better. Josey and Ethan have both been taking Orkambi for a little over a year now and we have seen great improvements in them both. We are very thankful for this progress and see this as one step closer to a cure!
Every day people are raising money needed to wipe out Cystic Fibrosis. Would you consider being one of those people?
I am hiking for Josey and Ethan and to kick some CF butt! Last fall was my first Xtreme Hike event and it was an 'xtreme' challenge physically and mentally. However, one thing that kept me motivated was thinking of Josey and Ethan and all they do daily just to keep themselves healthy. Who am I to complain about a little pain and discomfort that is temporary? Therapy, breathing treatments, an endless amount of pills....those never go away and they never get to take a break....certainly I can keep putting one foot in front of the other and conquer those 30 miles. Please consider donating to do the same, conquering CF! You can make personal donations online today, we cannot do it without you. As their mom I can say on behalf of our family we remain forever grateful for your diligent support and generosity over the years and now. Without you and your help, progress towards a cure would not be as close as it is today.
Jennifer Walton and Waltons' Warriors
"...let us lay aside every weight that slows us down, especially sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our fatih..." Hebrews 12:1-2