I enjoy advocating for cystic fibrosis awareness, so I felt honored when asked to speak to the sophomore class at Naugatuck High School last month about my own experience with CF. A genetically inherited illness, CF targets the respiratory and digestive systems.
In the beginning of my speech to Naugatuck students, I told them my goal for that event was to keep from crying during my speech, because when I arrived, I was shown a beautiful bulletin board dedicated to NHS’s fundraising campaign for cystic fibrosis. I also met an amazing biology teacher, Beth Rojas, who works so hard every year to raise awareness and funds for CF. It was unbelievably touching to see their efforts to help those living with this disease.
Last spring I spoke to the NVCC Student Government Association about cystic fibrosis, and they chose the illness as this year’s SGA charity. That was such a touching moment for me, and the walk they organized last October was incredibly special. One thing I learned when I began advocating for those with this disease is that no government funding exists for CF research. There is no cure for CF, and while life-sustaining treatments have become more available, there is still so much work to be done.
As May is Cystic Fibrosis Awareness Month, I’ll participate in another fundraiser, in Southbury, organized by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, the hub of CF research and information. Titled Great Strides, this is a 5k walk/run. In fact, there are 11 Great Strides events in CT, and I’ve attended the Southbury event the past two years.
On Saturday, May 20, my team, Chelsea’s Champions, will be walking at Ballantine Park in Southbury to raise awareness and funds for CF. Registration for the event begins at 9:00 am and the walk starts at 10:00 am. This is such a lovely, community-filled event and a scenic locale for the walk. You have the option to walk or run, as there has been increased interest in running the course over the years. If you cannot attend the event, or any of the Great Strides events, you can register to become a virtual walker by simply making a donation to the cause.
I hope you’ll consider joining me in raising funds and awareness for cystic fibrosis as both are equally important. For information, go to: http://fightcf.cff.org/site/PageServer?pagename=cff_homepage