2019 Great Strides National Ambassadors

Meet Hannah and George, this year’s Great Strides National Ambassadors.

Hannah Buck

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Hannah is a 23-year-old with cystic fibrosis who loves blogging, playing the drums, and creating videos. This May, she looks forward to graduating from the University of Michigan with a degree in creative writing and participating in her 18th Great Strides Walk along with her family and friends.

"When I was diagnosed with CF at the age of five, my parents immediately joined forces with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Together, they founded a Great Strides walk in our tiny hometown, and it's been totally apparent even since then that the Foundation thoroughly supports us in this fight. I have always felt seen by the Foundation - I have always felt heard and so has my family. I feel absolutely honored to be serving my community and standing with the great people at the Foundation as a 2019 Great Strides National Ambassador."

Get to Know Hannah

1. Tell me about your earliest memories of cystic fibrosis.

“I was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis when I was five years old, and by the following May my parents became involved in the Foundation and I started understanding more about my CF. One of my earliest CF memories is sitting at the dining room table with my dad and him teaching me how to swallow pills - we used mini M&Ms to practice!”

2. Where was your first Great Strides walk and how did you get involved?

“My very first Great Strides moment was with my family who started a walk in my small hometown in St. Joseph, Mich. Even at a young age, I have memories of going to local elementary and middle school classes to fundraise for my walk -- making newsletters with my dad and presenting to classes about my disease with my mom.

3. How have family and friends reacted and shown support?

“My family and friends have been my biggest supporters in Great Strides. Last year the walk was very windy and rainy, but everyone still came out on walk day because they knew just how much it meant to me.”

4. Tell me about some of your favorite Great Strides memories.

“I played in my high school drumline, and I was the only woman on the team. During my senior year of high school, all of the guys from the team brought their drums and harnesses out to my Great Strides walk as a surprise for me, and even brought my own drum along for me to join in.”

5. What would you say to someone thinking about getting involved in Great Strides for the first time?

“Whether you’re a person with CF, or know somebody that has CF, Great Strides is the largest national fundraiser that directly supports research. It’s the best way to really make a difference. The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is really an organization that you can trust in and be proud to say you are a part of.”


George Chelius

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George is a 3-year-old CF Fighter from Tampa, Fla.  He was diagnosed with CF just two weeks after he was born, and since then his entire family, led by his parents Matt and Elisa Chelius, have united across the nation to help raise funds and awareness for his rare disease. While George is too young to be leading the charge just yet, he has proven to be very brave when it comes to his daily treatments, hospitalizations, and taking on the challenges that CF presents.

"When George was diagnosed with CF, we felt hopeless and fearful for his future. However, as we became more educated and active within the cystic fibrosis community, what previously seemed so daunting started to feel like a fight that we were prepared to take on and win.  The Foundation has been a constant source of support, guidance, and education for us, and we are eternally grateful for everything they do to help those suffering from CF and for their dedicated mission to finding a cure. We are honored to share our story as a 2019 Great Strides National Ambassador."
- Elisa Chelius, George’s mother

Get to Know George and the Chelius Family

1. Tell me about your earliest memories of cystic fibrosis.

“George was diagnosed with CF just two weeks after he was born. As most people living with CF can agree, highs and lows come in waves. We have seen our share of hospitalizations, PICC lines, and hours spent in the ER, but George is a joyful and social 3-year-old in spite of the ups and downs.”

  2. Where was your first Great Strides walk and how did you get involved?

“We created a National Team, Team Super George, right out of the gate, and had 7 national family teams participate at Great Strides events across the country in 2016. George is young, so although he might not remember his last Great Strides, he recognizes our team shirts and understands that the people there are walking for him.”

  3. How have family and friends reacted and shown support?

“We see cystic fibrosis as a disease that affects our whole family, so having the opportunity to participate in an event that includes everyone -- old and young -- has been amazing. Family and friends from across the nation have gotten involved and started teams to show support.” 

4. Tell me about some of your favorite Great Strides memories.

“I vividly remember our first Great Strides walk back in 2016. George was only 5 months old at the time, so we were just learning about cystic fibrosis and how to care for our infant with the disease. Because CF is so rare, we were used to feeling very isolated and alone, but when I got out of the car at the event and saw how many people were out there, I just burst into tears. I couldn’t believe all those people loved someone with CF, just like we did.”

5. What would you say to someone thinking about getting involved in Great Strides for the first time?

“Put on your sneakers and get out there! It’s an incredible opportunity to be a part of a community so passionate about making CF stand for Cure Found.”