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Why Do I Ride 65?
There are plenty of causes I support, but the CFF Cycle for Life is the only fundraising ride I do. Cycle for Life is the only time I needle friends, colleagues, and family for money. There's two reasons: first, I am a lousy fundraiser. My parents probably still have Camp Fire Girls mints in their garage that I failed to sell forty-five years ago.
The bigger, and more important, reason is that cystic fibrosis is a unique kind of disease, and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is a unique group.
CF only affects about 30,000 Americans. Contrast that with a disease like diabetes, which impacts millions. I think every CF family is glad there aren't more people suffering from CF; but the fact that so few people have it means there isn't a lot of money being spent on researching treatments and cures.
The CFF is the leader in researching this disease. CF is a genetic condition with many variants. Kalydeco, the breakthrough treatment that was approved a few years ago, only works for about 3% of CF patients. But the research that made Kalydeco possible is still opening doors: it gave hope to the other 97%. Kalydeco is being used in combination with other treatments. Currently, Kalydeco is being used in combination with other treatments to treat a large percentage of the CF population, including Nathan. We may be one or two breakthroughs away from a treatment that would allow CF patients to lead normal lives. In fact, a friend of mine recently told me he believes that in a decade, we will be able to cure CF.
I ride for Nathan, the son of a colleague. Nathan's a high-schooler. When I was a child, CF was a death sentence. A kid with CF wasn't expected to live long enough to attend high school. Now, nearly half of CF patients are eighteen or older. There's an adult CF patient who rides the 65-mile route in the Cycle for Life. Nathan's receiving a medication that resulted from the studies of combining Kalydeco with other drugs, and the change has been remarkable - nothing short of a miracle. This dramatic turn-around - from death sentence to chronic condition in just a few generations - was made possible by research, and that research was funded by people like you. People who gave a few dollars at a bake sale, or a walk-a-thon, or a stair-climb, or a bike ride. Your dollars save lives. Your dollars help create treatments that allow CF patients to lead productive lives.
I am a minor member of Team Nathan. Nathan's parents and grandparents are the rock stars: They participate in Great Strides in both Spokane and the Tri-Cities. They operate a rest stop along the route of the Cycle for Life. They raise tens of thousands of dollars a year. And they're not alone: they're like countless other CF families. They treasure each day with their child, and work tirelessly to help ensure that child will be as healthy as possible for as long as possible.
Please help me help Team Nathan!
Help me reach my fundraising goal!