My name is Julie Flower and I would like to introduce you to Team Gabrielle. Team Gabrielle is made up of supporters working to find a cure for Cystic Fibrosis. This group was formed 10 years ago in support of my daughter Gabrielle, who was diagnosed at two weeks of age with Cystic Fibrosis. The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation has helped us with learning about this diagnosis, provided us with support of other families with CF, and how we could help raise funds for research to find a cure.
Cystic Fibrosis is a life threatening genetic disease that causes mucus to build up and clog some of the organs in the body, particularly the lungs and pancreas. There are approximately 30,000 Americans living with cystic fibrosis. The symptoms and severity of the disease vary according to the genetic defect that caused it, as well as patients' age and other existent conditions. Similarly, the symptoms are not constant and differ over time. Gabrielle has been hospitalized three times over the last few years for CF treatments.
Gabi is almost 13 years old and is currently in seventh grade this year. She loves to play with her friends and her twin sister, Olivia. She made the alpha role at school, loves to read, and play video grades. She takes multiple medications daily with every meal and snack to assist in digestion. She is now up to taking ten pills just with her morning breakfast alone. In addition to medications, she has multiple daily breathing treatments and pulmonary vest therapy daily. She has a pediatrician, a pulmonologist, an endocrinologist, a GI doctor, and a nutritionist. My girl, she handles all of this with a smile and infectious laugh.
The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Great Strides Walk is held every year in May. This year the walk will be at Lafreniere Park. This is the foundation's biggest fundraiser of the year and walks occur all over the country. Team Gabrielle has participated in the walk for the last 10 years. We fundraise every year for months, holding different events to raise funds which all go to the foundation and research to find a cure. Our goal is that Gabi will have the chance to grow up and have the same chance as any other child to have a long and healthy life .
I am looking forward to working with you, your family and your business to continue our fight to raise funds for finding a cure. It is with the generosity and kindness of others that I know we will reach our goal, to find a cure for Cystic Fibrosis and for Gabi.
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.