Thank you for visiting our site and joining Team Feets. With your help, one day CF will stand for Cure Found.
This was an article written about Austin- and what the walk and Team Feets means to him.
“Sometimes I wish people realized that breathing for me is not like breathing for you. Let me show you. Please take your hand and gently cover your lips. Take a deep breath.
That’s what it feels like for me with every breath I take.”That is how Austin, a teen with cystic fibrosis, explains CF to other people. He doesn’t hesitate to tell people that CF includes frequent hospitalizations and about 30 pills every day. Since he began using the vest treatment as a young boy to clear his airways, Austin has logged about 3,000 hours, or more than 125 24-hour days. But, Austin rarely complains about his disease. Rather, he views it as just a part of his life — a disease that he works to accept. As he says, CF is with him everywhere he goes, but he doesn’t let it weigh him down. He regularly works out at the gym, is a member of his high school STEM program and the robotics team, and rows on the crew team. And, Austin is an active Great Strides fundraiser.
“My family calls Great Strides walk day the most important day of the year,” said Austin. “It is great to talk to people that help fundraise to find a cure for CF. I look forward to it every year.”
Austin’s entire family joins in on their national family team, “Team Feets.” The name is a nod to Austin’s infancy when he regularly stuck his feet out of his crib, as well as to his feet today, which are currently a size 14. In addition to forming a team, his family also hosts an annual Great Strides after party. “Every year at Great Strides, I get to focus on positivity and celebrate with my family and 100 of the most amazing people – people that support the Foundation on the path to finding a cure,” said Austin.
Since 2000, Team Feets has raised more than $500,000 for Great Strides with nearly 100 participants walking each year.
“Our family and our team are hopeful. We’re hopeful that we’re changing the future for people with CF, not just by raising awareness, but by supporting the Foundation,” said Laura, Austin’s mom. Austin’s family, especially his younger sister, Kate, are with him every step of the way.
“From a young age, Kate wanted to help fundraise and generate awareness about CF,” said Laura. “But it’s more than that. Kate is protective of Austin and his health. She realizes that CF is a serious disease and she wants to help him through it in a big-hearted, loving way.”
While Austin is no stranger to the challenges of living with CF, like persistent coughing, frequent hospitalizations and the tough reality of constant self-care, Austin stays positive.
“I know that Great Strides, the Foundation, my family and our team are helping to change my future and the future of CF. All this gives me hope and makes me excited about what is now possible.”
IMPORTANT NOTE ON ATTENDANCE AT FOUNDATION EVENTS:
To reduce the risk of COVID-19 the Foundation is taking steps to host safe events for our community. Please be advised that events may be subject to change at any time based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local health officials.
To help minimize the risk of COVID-19, we ask that attendees at CF Foundation events follow these steps:
Where mandated, practice physical distancing and maintain at least a safe 6-foot distance from persons outside of their household.
Face masks are encouraged and should be worn in accordance with local guidelines. (Note, children under two years of age should not wear masks due to safety concerns and therefore should only attend outdoor CF Foundation events where they are able to distance and stay within their family group.)
Follow basic infection, prevention and control practices by regularly washing hands with soap and water or with an alcohol-based hand gel, and by covering your cough or sneeze with a tissue or your inner elbow.
Persons with CF should consult their physician before participation in any in-person event as they may be at an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
For indoor events, it is CFF policy to invite only one person with CF to be in-person at the event at a time. For outdoor events, people with CF should maintain a safe 6-foot distance from persons outside of their household at all times.
FOR YOUR SAFETY AND THE SAFETY OF OTHERS:
For the health and well-being of the CF community, we strongly encourage that participants be fully vaccinated and have received the CDC recommended booster shot when joining us in-person for the event.
Please be advised certain localities and venues may require you to be fully vaccinated and show proof of vaccination. We will communicate these requirements in event communications.
We are counting on the fact that you appreciate the potential consequences of exposing members of the CF community to COVID-19 and will not attend an event if you are feeling ill or have been recently exposed to COVID-19.
We cannot guarantee that all people in attendance at the event, including participants, sponsors, volunteers, vendors, or others, have been fully vaccinated.