When Celtics legend Bob Cousy retired in 1963, he was the honorary chairman of the Massachusetts Chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. My sister, Martha, then 13, was chosen to represent the CF Foundation, presenting gifts of appreciation to the Cousy family. The old Boston Garden rocked when Cooz bent down and Martha reached up on her skinny legs for this hug. She was gone 3 years later.
In 1955, Martha was 5 when she was diagnosed with a rare new disease, cystic fibrosis. She underwent treatment with Dr. Harry Schwachman at Children's Hospital. My parents were quick to get involved, helping to form and serve in the Massachusetts Chapter of the CF Foundation. Today, the 300,000 people living in the US with CF are enjoying the benefits of the work started back then. The CF Foundation has funded reasearch that led to the identification of the gene that causes CF. Most recently, targeted research led to the development of the Trikafta therepy, that can successfully treat 90% of those with CF.
I started fundraising for the CF Foundation at a very young age. Back then, it was knocking on doors, asking for donations. Today, it's Great Strides, normally a fun day of gathering and walking, that is sadly virtual again this year. While I started out asking for donations to help my sister, today I ask for your support for those who are still facing this dreadful disease. We won't stop until everyone is cured! I hope you will help in any way you can.
Jean Grady Spaulding