Dear Family and Friends,
It’s that time of the year again where the Landheer and Workman family gear up for the annual Great Strides Walk to Cure Cystic Fibrosis! While the actual walk will not be taking place this year due to ongoing pandemic, we still have some exciting news we wanted to share with you!
As most of you know, Mitchell and Jessi both have a disease called Cystic Fibrosis, a life-threatening genetic disease for which there is not a cure. This disease affects our lungs, digestion, and life expectancy. Mitchell (26) and Jessi (31) were diagnosed 25 years ago, and each and every day we commit our lives to fighting this disease. CF research has produced some incredible maintenance-related drugs that have contributed to the overall life expectancy, increasing from 1 year of age in the 1950s now to OVER 40 years old! Our goal is to help find a cure for this disease, so that CF will not stand for “Cystic Fibrosis” but “cure found”!
Jessi has thankfully had another healthy year. She is going into her fourth year of working as a Volunteer Coordinator for Spectrum Health Hospice, now working consistently from home. She has continued to work to balance her health with her busy life with two young children. Thanks to the new medication, Trikafta, she has been able to to drastically reduce the amount of time she typically spent on breathing treatments!
Mitchell has continued his career as an auditor for BDO USA in Grand Rapids. This past year has been a great one, and hospital-free. He was provided an opportunity to join the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Board for the NW Ohio-Michigan Chapter as their Outreach Chair. This has been a joy for him to be able to help and give back to the foundation that has fought against this disease for so long.
For 65 years, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation has been striving toward their mission to cure cystic fibrosis and raise awareness for this rare, genetic, life-shortening disease that makes it difficult to breathe and adds hours of daily therapies to maintain a normal life. Nearly every approved CF drug therapy available now has been made possible because of the Foundation and it’s supporters. It’s inspiring to think back 25 years ago when Mitchell and Jessi were first diagnosed to see how much progress has been made in the daily therapies and medication they take. A year and a half ago, a new drug came out, called Trikafta. Mitchell and Jessi have both been taking this medication since January 2020 and the results from this therapy cannot even be expressed through words. Both of their lung functions continue to improve dramatically, they have seen some of their symptoms disappear, and their strict treatment regime has been reduced to a much more manageable schedule. This new drug has literally changed the trajectory of their disease and their life. We thank all of the support we receive year to year, but we truly mean it when we say that to see this drug work miracles before our eyes would not be possible without the donations, prayers, and support from each of you every single year.
This year the Great Strides Walk sadly will still not be happening in its usual manner due to COVID-19. With that being said, it is not to say that we still aren’t going to celebrate what continues to happened within the CF world and we would like to ask you for a special favor of a contribution that will help support the research of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation to bring us one step closer to a cure.
As articulated above, the CF Foundation is a very efficient organization and more than 90 cents of every dollar raised is used to support research, care, and education. Checks can be made payable to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and we have enclosed a self-addressed envelope for your convenience. We just want to thank you in advance from the bottom of our hearts. Words cannot express what your love and support mean to our family!
Mitchell and Jessi
(And of course, the rest of our tribe: Dave, Pam, Ben, Malory, Nathan, Jon, Nita and Jayden)