Kenzie is 22 years old. She has just completed her first year getting her Master's degree in Theatre at Villanova University, with a full tuition scholarship. She spent the year working in the props and paint shop as a graduate assistant, as well as working on multiple productions as a scenic painter, props artisan, director, and stage manager. Kenzie is now also a co-founder and production manager of the virtual international theatre company, Cloud Theatrics, where she is in the process of directing one of their mainstage shows The Red Line: An Anthology by Julia Whitten. Kenzie will be spending the summer working at the Utah Shakespeare Festival as a scenic painter as well as coming back to Philadelphia and Chicago prior to starting her last year at Villanova.
By the Walk, Anika will be 20 years old. She is almost finished with her Sophomore year at Hunter College in New York City! She is studying to be a high school English teacher. She’s majoring in English literature with a minor in sociology and she was just accepted into Hunter’s School of Education so next semester she can begin her teaching classes! She’s loving all the different types of English courses she has gotten to take, especially Literary Criticism and Theory and Creative Writing this semester. She has been doing college online from home in Chicago because of COVID-19, but because she has received both vaccines, she will hopefully be moving back to New York City into her own apartment over the summer! Even though everything is online, she has still managed to keep in great contact with her friends from New York over group FaceTime calls and group chats. She’s still an avid reader and writer, and in the fall of 2020, she had one of her poems published into Hunter College’s literature magazine!
This year, Anika was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis-related diabetes. Diabetes is a common complication of cystic fibrosis with around 40-50% of adults developing it. She’s monitoring her glucose (yes, finger sticks) and on a low dose medication to stabilize her blood sugar.
Both girls have several CF Clinic visits every year; they have just transitioned to Adult CF Clinics from the Pediatric Clinic. Each of the girls takes about 8 different oral prescription drugs a day, including 7 enzyme capsules before every meal and snack. They are often on antibiotics as part of their treatment. They each do respiratory therapy twice a day for about 20 minutes/session. The therapy includes wearing a ‘Vest’ that is hooked up to an air pumping machine. It beats air against their chest/back for 20 minutes in an attempt to loosen mucus in their lungs. They breathe medicines daily using a nebulizer and inhaler.
The CF Foundation has made incredible progress in improving and extending the lives of those with Cystic Fibrosis. The mean life expectancy with a person with CF is well over 40 years. This is up from 18 in the 1970s and 32 when the girls were born. You helped make this happen!
TriKafta is the new wonder drug for CF patients. The first drug that is actually proven, in studies, to increase lung function. Kenzie and Anika were each on a different drug earlier that helped maintain lung function (Orkambi and Symdeko) but are off those now in order to take TriKafta. Your donations over the years have directly helped these new drugs and new treatments get developed and tested. Thanks to all of you who have donated for funding the research that made this possible!!!
The last 20+ years, we have put together The Bradley Bunch team for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s Great Strides Walk. Last year, our team raised over $11,000 and, in total, we have raised almost $360,000!!! We have YOU to thank, and we do Thank You from the bottom of our hearts. The outpouring of responses (and donations) that we receive is tremendous. We are always overwhelmed by how much we raise. Our goal this year is just to do better than last year.
Last year, the walk was cancelled due COVID-19. Because of this, the amount of donations to the Foundation was way down. This year, due to the on-going COVID-19 pandemic, the CF Foundation has had to cancel all in-person events such as the Great Strides Walk. The virtual walk date is May 15. This will again be a huge drain on their resources to help develop new drugs and therapies. We are still raising money as if there would be a walk. Last year, we received individual donations ranging from $5 to $1000. We appreciate them all because every dollar does make a difference! The easiest way to donate is via credit card at our team website.
Visit http://fightcf.cff.org/goto/bradleybunch2021. If it is easier, you can make checks out to: Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and mail them to us. We ask for your donation by May 30, 2021. But the link will be active the rest of the calendar year.
The CF Foundation is rated as one of the best charities in the country by several sources. About 90¢ of every dollar raised goes directly to research. Your donation is fully tax-deductible. Thank you very much for your support and contributions! Wish us luck on our fundraising.
Please be safe during this pandemic. COVID-19 is lethal to those with respiratory diseases like Cystic Fibrosis. Practice social distancing and wash your hands often. Please get vaccinated so that we can end this pandemic as soon as possible! It is important for everyone, but especially for those who are immunocompromised, that we reach herd immunity as soon as possible.
Please support me!
Help me reach my fundraising goal by donating to my Great Strides fundraising campaign. Your gift will help add tomorrows to the lives of people with cystic fibrosis by supporting life-saving research and medical progress. Your gift is 100-percent tax deductible.