Monday, May 31, 2010

Cystic Fibrosis Takes Your Breath Away

THE SKY WAS CLEAR AND THE MOOD optimistic at the Great Strides walk for CF that takes steps to cure cystic fibrosis literally. I put on my comfiest running shoes and joined the throng last Sunday, May 30th, at Fleetwood Park in Surrey for a 3-km stroll. I was among hundreds of people who participated in the Canadian Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s largest annual national fundraiser.

My thoughts were of Amanda, a best friend to my daughter and a much-loved young woman and gymnast who passed away far too young from the affects of CF in her mid-twenties.

I was glad to see that CTV was there to report on the event because cystic fibrosis is a disease that requires much more public awareness.

CF is a genetic disorder that affects the lungs and other organs usually from birth. Normally, the lining of key body tissue produces watery mucus that is runny enough to keep organs from drying out. Kids born with CF, however, have mucus that is so thick it sticks to the organs and blocks the tubes that carry air in and out of the lungs. This buildup of mucus is a hotbed of bacteria and leads to frequent lung infections. Serious damage is caused over the years that can tragically result in early death. The poster (at left) and the dyed red hair seen on some folk at the event is inspired by Eva Markvoort who also lost her battle with CF in her mid-twenties.

As the tiger is telling us, families that deal with this disease on a daily basis share a fighting can-do spirit and an optimistic attitude that one day there will be a cure.

There was a decorative clown in attendance with bullhorn in hand to organize and motivate people prior to the walk.

The park was a perfect setting for four-legged supporters.

Many people brought pets along. Big or small, these animals provide unconditional love and special comfort to families.

The empty forest was waiting for the walkers to arrive at around 10 a.m.

The pathway through the trees seemed welcoming and serene as people passed through.

Whether strolling, briskly walking or riding on strong shoulders, the outdoor air was refreshing to all.

We stepped on a bridge along the way and over a scenic creek.

We also met a strange forest creature etched in wood and peeking through the shrubbery.

On the road to raising funds for CF research, transplant centres and treatment programs, (including clinics at BC Children’s Hospital and St. Paul’s Hospital), we walked together with an air of hope by the wiispy wildflowers at the park.

1 comment:

  1. What a beautiful post, Penelope. Thanks for taking me on that walk with you! So many good causes. There was a walk going on at Locarno Beach on Sunday - that one for parents of children with Cancer. Sometimes, I wonder if there might be stronger financial results if there were a giant once-a-year event, with the proceeds divided equally for all of the medical research needed, but no - these special walks bring our attention not only to how fortunate we are to be able to get out and walk, but to individual stories of courage.


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