Great Strides, Great Stories

Great Strides is the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s largest national fundraiser. Every year, families, donors and friends take steps to help support the search for a cure. In this section, we’ll feature a special person or team who played an integral role in Great Strides and within their local CF community. We hope you’ll find this story to be inspiring as we continue to make Great Strides in our efforts to find a cure for CF!

Click here to meet others featured in the Great Strides, Great Stories series. 

Great Strides through Mom’s Eyes - Nicole Ehrie

Hearing your child has been diagnosed with cystic fibrosis brings feelings of shock, confusion, and desperation. When Nicole Ehrie learned her daughter, Grace, was diagnosed with CF just days after she was born, feelings of helplessness overwhelmed her.  

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“The first emotion I felt besides fear for having a child with a chronic disease, was the feeling of being out control,” she said. “It felt like there was nothing I could do.” Not long after Grace’s diagnosis, Nicole learned about Great Strides and found her way to take control. Her team -- Team Grace’s Aces -- was born, and even though her family has moved four times since starting the team, they continue to participate.

 “As a mother, it’s such a wonderful feeling to look around and see other families who are dealing with the same things and truly understand,” she said. “Walk day brings a sense of gratitude for the people who came before us, who have lost loved ones, and who have paved the way for where we are today. Great Strides has made a mark on all of us.”

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To Nicole, walk day is so much more than a fundraising event, but an opportunity to celebrate all her daughter has accomplished in her 15 years of life, and look forward to the years to come.  

“Being a part of something bigger has made a tremendous difference in our lives,” she said. “My advice to newly diagnosed families would be to get involved as soon as you feel ready to do so. This community is unbelievably welcoming and inspiring -- they truly give me hope.”