Eventhoug Mason's Marchers to "walk" on May 17th, we are still participating in our 11th year of Great Strides Fundraisingl!!
We have walked each and every year to support our son Mason, and the 30,000 others nationwide who are living with cystic fibrosis. We ask for your support in the effort to find a cure because we won't stop Until it's Done!
Mason is now 10 years old and in the last year has surpassed the 100lb mark and now stands at 5' tall! He is a 5th grader at La ola del lago, our community's Spanish Immersion school. This year he is learning to play the Ukulele in music class and he sings in the 5th grade choir. Mason continues to stay active, a large component of CF, year round. He practices martial arts as a member of Singewald's ATA Taekwondo School in Prior Lake and is working toward his second degree black belt! He swims twice a week, with a goal to be a member of the Storm Swim Club swim team one day. And, he continues to enjoy recreational soccer in the Spring and Fall.
Mason is a kind, thoughtful, helpful boy. He is a social butterfly, always making friends and striking up a conversation wherever he goes, in English or in Spanish! His other interests include, picking on his little brother, biking, sledding (when Winter cooperates), going to Valleyfair (in the Summer), playing at the park, video games, and playing with Beyblades. He also continues to love reading, especially graphic novels and fact books!
Here is Mason's cystic fibrosis story:
At just 6 days old, Mason was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis. The phone call was devastating. It went something like this: "Are you sitting down?" "We have some results from Mason's newborn screening...are both parents present?" "You should put the phone on speaker." "...Cystic Fibrosis...University of Minnesota..." And as the saying goes, the rest is history. Since that phone call, Mason has spent over 3,500 hours of his life completing vest/nebulizer treatments to maintain and sustain his health. Mason spends at least 60 minutes of every day completing breathing treatments. He's taken thousands and thousands of pills to assist with the digestion of food so he can grow just like anyone else his age. He's spent countless hours being looked over, poked and prodded by doctors to ensure he is healthy and stays healthy in spite of having cystic fibrosis.
Mason peaks in growth curves, his lung function is normal to above normal and he has suffered just a handful of respiratory and digestive bouts that have been directly related to CF. Because Mason is so "healthy," we often hear comments such as "He doesn't look sick," or "He has CF, really?" Initially, as parents, these comments weighed heavily on us. We have come to realize though that most people are just unaware of the time our family has invested in fighting this disease, including the multitude of doctor visits, all the poking and prodding Mason endures, the number of respiratory treatments he has done, the amount of medications he takes, the constant need to refill prescriptions, insurance company battles, the sheer number phone calls made on a regular basis to assist with managing the disease, the organization and communication needed to ensure he has what he needs during the school day. When he has a cold, is it a cold? Or is it something else? Should we take him to the pediatrician or the CF clinic? Not to mention the financial cost of this disease. Fortunately, we live in a world where we have amazing organizations such as the CF Foundation, ongoing research and access to phenomenal medical care that all allow Mason to create the perception of not being sick. Truth is, now we take these comments as compliments, as a direct reflection of all the time and effort we as a family put into CF, day in and day out, to sustain Mason's health and well being.
Is there a way he can live his life and remain healthy without continually dealing with all of those extra precautions? The answer, thankfully, seems to be 'yes'.
Real progress has been made in the search for a cure over the last few years. Great progress has been made toward treatment of the disease as well. The life expectancy of people with CF has almost doubled over the last 20 years thanks to research funded by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Quality of life has also risen dramatically for CF patients over that same time. But there is still no cure for the disease. Life expectancy is still less than half that of an average person without CF. That can change.
With your support, we will be adding tomorrows to the lives of people living with cystic fibrosis by raising money to fund research for a cure. Will you join Mason's Marchers? Support us by making a donation to our Great Strides fundraising campaign today! All gifts are tax deductible and walking is not required to make a donation. Come walk with us, we'd love to have you!
Great Strides is a fun, family-friendly walk that raises awareness and support for people with CF and their families.
Please support Great Strides!
Our ultimate goal, and the ultimate goal of the CF Foundation as a whole, is to no longer need to ask for donations because CF will one day stand for "Cure Found".
Grant, Stacy, Mason and Sawyer