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 seven 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 ten years old and is currently in fifth grade this year. She loves to play with her friends and her twin sister, Olivia. She made the alpha role at school, is in Girl Scouts, and will be in the school play next month. 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 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 seven 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. We acknowledge all our sponsors, either on a team banner which is displayed at the walk and on social media. With a $150 donation, your business name will be on our Team Gabi banner displayed at the Great Strides Walk. With a $300 donation, your business name will be on our Team Gabi Great Strides walk shirt and banner. With a $500 donation, your business name will be on the Team Gabi Great Strides walk shirt and banner as well as the official CF Foundation Great Strides walk shirt.
I am looking forward to working with you 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:
Infections can exacerbate CF symptoms and worsen lung function, so we ask attendees at Foundation-sponsored events to observe the following best practices to reduce the risk of germ transmission:
Regularly wash hands with soap and water or with an alcohol-based hand gel.
Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or your inner elbow.
Maintain a safe 6-foot distance from anyone with a cold or infection.
To further reduce the risk of cross-infection, the Foundation’s attendance policy recommends that all people with CF maintain a safe 6-foot distance from each other at all times while attending an outdoor Foundation-sponsored event. All Great Strides walks are non-smoking events.