Oregon Xtreme Hike - Pacific Crest Trail
My Xtreme Hike Story
Myself, along with my youngest sister, my dad and two cousins are hiking in honor of my younger sister, Krista Lynn Baker, who lost her battle with CF at the age of 20 years old in 2000. She had lived a full life with this invisible illness. It was not obvious that she lived with a life-threatening disease as you would find her on the softball field, at cross-country meets, playing clarinet in the band and out living life to the fullest. There would be regular periods where she would have to miss school each year due to infections that required hospital stays and times where she would get into a coughing fit that exhausted her, but most of her treatment took place at home, so to most, she appeared "healthy" and it was not obvious how much time and effort it took to address the symptoms of her disease. As a younger child, my parents clapped her daily to loosen the mucous from her lungs. As she got older, she had the opportunity to use a vest which vibrated her chest to loosen the mucous. There were daily nebulizer treatments that helped open the airways and delivered medicine directly to the airway. Her daily regimen to address her CF was not easiy, but I can honestly say that I can't remember her ever complaining. In her last years, a lung transplant was deemed best plan of action for her to live a longer life. We are heartbroken that we lost her so young, but that pain and loss is what motivates us to help fundraise for a cure in her honor, so that other families don't have to lose their loved ones to this disease.
So much progress has been made in the areas of treatment since Krista's death in 2000. Sixty years ago, most children with cystic fibrosis did not live long enough to attend elementary school, but thanks to Foundation-based research and care, many people with CF are now living into their forties – achieving milestones once thought not possible, such as attending college, pursuing careers, and having a family of their own.
For those of you who are unfamiliar, cystic fibrosis is a rare, life-shortening, genetic disease found in about 30,000 people in the U.S., which causes persistent lung infections and limits the ability to breathe over time. Those living with this disease are moms, dads, sisters, brothers, daughters, sons, friends, and co-workers – all struggling each day just to breathe and live normal, healthy lives.
While there has been significant progress in treating this disease, there is still no cure and too many lives are cut far too short. By participating in Xtreme Hike, I am helping add tomorrows to the lives of all people living with CF today.
Please make a difference and support me by giving to my Xtreme Hike fundraising campaign today. Donate an amount that is meaningful to you!
Until there's a cure,