We are Zack and Farrel DeBaltzo, a Cystic Fibrosis married couple in East Texas, and we're so excited to team up with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation as Volunteer Ambassadors for Great Strides 2023!
In 1983 and 1986 respectively, our parents were told we would never see this life we've grown to share with each other, and with friends and family across the globe. That we would see ages 8 and 18, if we were lucky. But our God had much different plans for us, and every time we get to tell our story, it's an opportunity to boast in how He has shown Himself both faithful and powerful through our weaknesses, and thank Him for the good, the bad, and everything in between of a life well lived and loved, despite what the world told us would never be possible.
You are invited to contribute to our mission to help make CF stand for "Cure Found"! Cystic Fibrosis is considered an "orphan disease", meaning it's too rare to receive government funding or support. From our daily breathing treatments, to the life-saving medications like Trikafta that have changed the lives of thousands of CFers (Zack's included!), to the IV antibiotics and specialized treatments we receive while inpatient, it's all thanks to the research and development made possible by the CF Foundation... And donors like y'all, who kinda like us and want to keep us around ;)
Additionally, the CF Foundation lobbies tirelessly for us in Washington, ensuring that we get fair treatment where necessary, and makes vital resource branches, such as the CF Legal Hotline and CF Compass, possible for its patients at zero charge to us.
Our fundraising goal is $650, and no amount given is too small — Every dollar is crucial, and more appreciated than we can express. For as far as we've come since the CF Foundation's inception in 1955, we still have a long way to go. Thousands of CFers, who are underage or have more rare genetic mutations, still don't have access to many life-saving medications. And the average life expectancy for those battling our illness is still only 50 years old, with no cure in sight.
Just by taking the time to read our story, you are making a powerful difference for those like us who battle CF every day. Awareness and compassion go a long way in understanding our illness, and creating space for those in the invisible disease community.
If you can't give monetarily at this time, that's more than OK! You are welcome to share our story on social media, or to pray for us. Not only for a cure, but also for perseverance, joy, peace, and hope in the waiting. Jesus saves, Jesus heals, and Jesus carries in ways deeper than any medication can provide. And it's our ultimate prayer that the suffering within Cystic Fibrosis would draw our community closer to Him as our Lord, Comfort, Savior, and Friend ♥
Thank you, from the bottom of our hearts, for being a part of our testimony! All for God's glory, and all for our good. Let's stride together and make CF stand for "Cure Found"!
"Even to your old age and gray hairs I am He, I am He who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you." | Isaiah 46:4
IMPORTANT NOTE ON ATTENDANCE AT FOUNDATION EVENTS:
Updated July 5th, 2023
The CF Foundation is committed to ensuring the health and wellbeing of individuals attending Foundation events. Individuals attending CF Foundation events must abide by the Foundation's Event Attendance Policy www.cff.org/attendancepolicy, which includes guidance for event attendees living with cystic fibrosis.