This year our Great Strides Walk in Ocean City, NJ, was canceled like so many other events due to COVID-19. So Team Rogai is participating in the CF Challenge, 65 Days for 65 Roses. 65 Days...4 Ways...1 Mission. Basically we will walk 200 miles over the next 65 days, starting today, which averages out to about 3 miles a day. You may be wondering what the significance of 65 roses is. The "65 Roses" story dates back to 1965 when an observant little 4 year old with CF, hearing the name of his disease for the first time, pronounced Cystic Fibrosis as 65 Roses. Since that time the term 65 Roses has been used by young children to describe their disease. But making it easier to say doesn't make it any easier to live with.
There are approximately 30,000 Americans living with Cystic Fibrosis. They are moms, dads, sisters, brothers, daughters, sons, granddaughters, grandsons, nieces, nephews, friends and co-workers who struggle every day just to breathe. I walk for them, and in particular for my grandson, Francis, and hope you will support me in my efforts.
Francis has lived with CF for 15 1/2years. And what a treasure he is! Whether you need help with the groceries, preparing food for the poor, fighting the plague of the Spotted Lantern Fly or just a laugh when you’re feeling blue, he’s your guy. A normal 15 year old who likes playing soccer, video games, Wii sports competitions, watching movies and vintage tv shows like Dark Shadows and Cheers and his all time favorite...watching and playing along with Jeopardy. His goal is to be on the show one day! Yes, he is a total trivia buff and usually comes up with more correct answers than anyone else in the room...and faster than anyone else. He was on the academic competition team for his high school as the lone freshman this past school year and he also was in the ensemble cast of their spring play, Rock of Ages, taking great pride in one riot scene where he got knocked down by a cop. (All staged, of course.) He continues to love playing poker with his Grammy and Pop Pop and has started making up his own poker games which sometimes drive his poker purist Pop Pop bonkers. But it's always a fun time. Yes, just a normal teenager...except he lives with Cystic Fibrosis so he cant take breathing for granted. Twice a day he does breathing treatments to help keep his lungs and airways clear and functioning. And several meds and enzymes are a part of his daily regimen to help with digestion. But yet not once have I ever heard him complain. He is quite an exceptional young man.
Real progress has been made for those who have CF but there is still no cure for this devastating disease and many lives are cut far too short. We’ve come so far, in fact Francis is benefitting from a brand new breakthrough drug out this past year, but there’s still so much work to do. I will not stop striding until all those with cystic fibrosis have a cure. By walking today I am helping add tomorrows to the lives of people living with Cystic Fibrosis. Will you join me? Help me reach my fundraising goal by making a donation. Support TEAM ROGAI and our Great Strides fundraising campaign today. Great Strides is a fun, family-friendly event that raises awareness and support for people with CF and their families. This year, in the time of COVID-19, our Great Strides event will be the 65 Roses Challenge. Your gift is 100% tax deductible. Or, if you like, join Team Rogai and do a walk in your neighborhood to raise money or awareness. And finally, I do believe in the power of prayer so please pray for a cure for CF.
We are at a pivotal moment in the history of cystic fibrosis and your support matters. Your gift will help add tomorrows to the lives of people with cystic fibrosis by supporting groundbreaking research and medical progress towards a cure. Please help me reach my fundraising goal!