Monday, May 30, 2011

Cystic Fibrosis Is No Picnic In The Park

THOUGHTS OF YOUNG PEOPLE dealing with a fatal disease followed us every step of the way during the Great Strides Walk for Cystic Fibrosis at Queen’s Park in New Westminster, BC, on Sunday, May 29th.

May is Cystic Fibrosis (CF) awareness month in my world. I was personally made aware of the condition several years ago when my daughter introduced me to a bright young gymnast and classmate named Amanda who became a close friend.

Amanda lived a full, active and optimistic lifestyle despite the illness and bouts in the hospital. She eventually passed away in her mid-twenties leaving a huge imprint in our lives. In fact, my book With My Umbrella, I Can … The Magical Journey of Penelope Puddle is dedicated to Amanda and her energetic spirit.

Management of the disease has improved significantly since CF was officially recognized in the 1930s. Hope for a cure refuses to fade for the surprisingly common genetic illness that affects mainly the lungs. Although life expectancy has increased, there is a great deal more to do. Some 500 people sharing a goal got involved and worked their legs at the annual fundraiser.

Although the event last May was held at a different family friendly location, a great choice this year was Queen's Park. I haven't visited in quite a while and had forgotten how the mature trees reminded me of giant leafy umbrellas.

The weather was warm and the forest was the perfect setting not only to walk but to play. There were places to slide, swing and climb.

There was a craft table where children explored their artistic sides.

I realized nothing could top nature's art ...

when I saw the proud peacock nearby.

Its pretty feathers were eye-popping to say the least.

School children also entertained outdoors with plays, dance and song.

A cute pet with long lashes (click photo for detail) dressed for the occasion.

This fellow was not at all sheepish about being touched.

The Petting Zoo included a pair of adorable piglets.

The sun glinted on the ripples the ducks made in the pond at the park.

It was fun to cool off in the water ...

especially when running through the blast of sprinklers.

The Rainbow Playland theme fit the fundraising mood ...

where a real pot of gold would be to find the cure for CF.

Explorers can find more sites from around the globe at My World.

Copyright by Penelope Puddlisms


  1. Oh, I remember how devastated you and your lovely daughter were when Amanda died.
    What a dreadful disease. I'm so glad you went on the Walk, and shared photos of beautiful Queen's Park with us. Thanks! I haven't been there in many years, although I've driven past it a few times. It's great to see the pictures. I always think of trees when I think of Queen's Park, too.
    — K

    Kay, Alberta, Canada
    An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

  2. Great post about an important issue. The photographs are all wonderful. The Queen's Park event looks like a fun way to be involved in awareness.

  3. Wonderful event for a great cause. The shots are beautiful.

  4. I do so agree with Carver! Such a great post for the day and it is indeed such an important issue! So hard to lose a friend and/or love one! The event in the park looks like a terrific way to celebrate awareness! Thanks for sharing this with us today!


  5. Wonderful day and such an interesting account of the many aspects of it.
    Nice to compare children's art with the peacock displaying.

  6. A great post for awareness. The photos are lovely, that peacock is amazing.

  7. I did not know abou this before.
    Thank you for teaching.
    Entry made me mind a bit 'bleached'. Thank you for that as well.

    Please have a good Tuesday you all.

    daily athens

  8. I didn't know the disease, neither. I think I know how terribly shocked you and your daughter were when Amanda passed away so young... but whenever you think of her you can connect with her. She would have been nearby you in Queen's Park walk.

    On a different note, I enjoyed your company in another walk, cooling under the natural parasol of foliage, petting and cuddling adorable creatures, being amazed with peacock beauty (I agree nothing can top nature’s art), watching ducks and reflections in the pond, dashing through sprinkler ..., it was really fun. Thank you, Penelope.

  9. What a wonderful place. Kids who struggle with such illnesses remind us every breath is precious. It behooves us to make the most of this reminder.

  10. That is a great cause. It is sad when kids who are yet to see the world are afflicted. Great pics.

  11. looks like a fun event for a worthy cause. To lose someone you love is always a very distressing experience. great photos, the peacock is stunningly beautiful.

  12. A great way to spend the day heightening awareness for this insidious disease. Thank you for bringing it to our awareness too.

  13. That's an important part of the world, to help others. You are to be congratulated on your dedication. - Margy

  14. Great shots, and a great way to raise money and awareness. I remember organizing a swim-a-thon for cystic fibrosis many years ago.

    I was in your neck of the woods last weekend, visiting Vancouver!

  15. Parents must be in shock and suffer terrible grief when they learn their child has CF. Yet the families I have met of CF children do their best to set sadness and fear aside to focus on courage, laughter and a life of possibilities. I think this is how Amanda experienced life with love and support, especially from her dedicated and indomitable mother.

  16. My cousin's son has CF, it's a horrible disease....

    So glad that you went on the walk, and took pictures to share with us.

    I used to live almost across from Queens Park, it's a beautiful place.

    Jen @ Muddy Boot Dreams


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