Dear Friends and Family,
For 20 years Austin has been fighting Cystic Fibrosis- with every breath he has taken.
For 20 years YOU have stood by us, supported Austin and the CF Foundation, amazed us and made a difference.
This year is a lot different than any we have ever experienced. We want the freedom to go out and LIVE. Live our lives the way we want, fulfill our personal hopes and dreams. And want to be healthy enough to enjoy that freedom. What we have been missing these last few months is what we have always wanted for Austin- to live the life of his dreams. That has been our focus since we first heard the words. “I am sorry, but your son has cystic fibrosis.”
20 years ago, we made a promise to Austin. He was just a baby and we were struggling with his diagnosis. We were afraid and did not know what his future would hold. We promised him that we would do everything we could to help find a cure for this disease. If he had to fight this disease every day, then we would be committed to raising awareness and help fund the science that would, one day, lead to a cure.
20 years later Austin just finished his sophomore year (remotely) at Penn State. He has attended proms, graduations, played soccer, ran cross country, rowed crew, and fallen in and out of love. He has lived. He has also done 3 nebulizers a day, 2 manual chest physical therapy sessions daily (25 minutes each), taken 10,000 pills a year and countless sinus treatments. Every couple of years he has been admitted to Hotel Hopkins, for PICC lines to administer heavy duty antibiotics, to clean out those fragile lungs of his. He continues to fight CF every minute of every day.
There has not been one day when he has been free from CF.
For 20 years Team Feets has been walking, hopping, and ShamRockin’ for one reason- to make CF stand for Cure Found. We have had over 1300 people walk with Team Feets in Annapolis and we have raised over $825,000. We have celebrated!
Since June 2, 2001, our very first Great Strides walk, the first Saturday in June has been the most important day of the year for our family. It was never about the miles we walked. It was always about celebrating and supporting Austin with our family and friends. Although we cannot be together in person, we hope that you will still join us in spirt that day- as you always have. On June 6th, please put on your Team Feets blue shirt (or any blue shirt) and take a walk, BBQ with your family, go on a hike, a bike ride, a zoom happy hour, whatever makes you happy. And while you are participating in your activity please take a minute to think of Austin and all those with cystic fibrosis. Think about the freedom that we all crave after social distancing and think about the freedom from cystic fibrosis we dream about for Austin one day.
We realize this has been an incredibly difficult time for everyone – socially, emotionally, financially and professionally. But if you are able, please consider donating to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and supporting Austin and Team Feets again this year.
Thank you all for being a part of Team Feets and helping us change the future for our boy. There are no words to express how much it means to us.
Until CF stands for Cure Found,
Steve, Laura, Austin and Kate