On Saturday, June 1st, my family will be participating in our 19th GREAT STRIDES walk. Our first walk was in Tacoma, just one month after losing my brother, Bernie, to CF. Our team included an amazing group of friends and family. We walked to remember Bernie, Ben and Teresa, my three siblings who all lost their battles against cystic fibrosis.
With such a supportive team in Tacoma, it made sense to expand GREAT STRIDES to include a walk in our hometown of Olympia. Since 2001, the Olympia walk has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to directly support CF research. So much has happened in these 18 years!
We have made many lifelong friends in working with the CF foundation. We’ve watched as new drugs have been developed that have not only extended the life-expectancy, but have also greatly improved the quality of life for CF patients. We cheered on Sarah and Jenny when they both received their long-awaited lung transplants. They are enjoying things like volleyball, hiking, laughing and so many other day to day events that we all take for granted while being able to BREATHE! We watched Tori grow from a little girl into a college graduate. We celebrated each new discovery and milestone in CF research. Most recently, we’ve celebrated the introduction of Kalydeco--the drug that is correcting the CF defect in a patient’s cells. Doctors are predicting a full rich life for little Lucy who takes a daily dose of Kalydeco. She is enjoying swimming, skiing and all the silliness that is part of being an active ten year old. We’ve watched little Evan grow from a toddler into a confident public speaker, as he rallies support to end the disease that is part of his daily life.
There is so much to celebrate and so much to be hopeful for! However the fight is clearly not over yet. In these past 18 years, we’ve also had to say goodbye to David, Mckenna, Brandi, Jenny and Malachy, our sweet young friends who all lost their battles with cystic fibrosis far too early. We will not stop the fight until CF stands for Cure Found.
Please join our family on Saturday, June 1st, at Heritage Park in Olympia. Check-in begins at 10am and the walk begins at 11am. There will be music (thanks Aaron!), good company and a BBQ lunch provided by Longhorn BBQ.
THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart for supporting this cause that is near and dear to me.