I am pretty good about counting my blessings and being ever so grateful for the health of my loved ones and especially my son. But it is the days that you are reminded of someone else’s struggle, heartache, or tragedy that you truly realize how blessed you are. Today is one of those days. I received my yearly email from a good friend asking us to donate to support finding a cure for Cystic Fibrosis. One of her best friends, Erin, has a four year old daughter named Chloe who suffers from CF, and every year they are part of a walk that helps to raise money to find a cure. For those of you who don’t know, CF is a life threatening hereditary disorder that affects the cells that produce mucus, sweat and digestive juices. These secreted fluids are normally thin and slippery. But in cystic fibrosis, a defective gene causes the secretions to become thick and sticky. Instead of acting as a lubricant, the secretions plug up tubes, ducts and passageways (especially in the lungs and pancreas), causing severe damage to the lungs and digestive system. I have always been more than happy to give to this cause, because I understand what they are going through(to an extent), I have seen it first hand. In elementary school, I had a friend named Lexi who, along with her sister Sharlie, was born with CF. She struggled to breathe, always had a deep, phlegmy cough, and because of her lack of oxygen, was very frail. Despite all of this, Lexi’s sweet spirit always shined through and she always had a smile on her face. I watched her take multiple pills a day, and we would take breaks from playing for her to do her breathing treatments. She ended up receiving a double lung transplant, but unfortunately her body did not accept the new organ and 19 months later she died at the age of 14. We were only friends for a few years before CF took her life, but she affected me in ways she will never know.
Lexi(right) and I at our 6th grade graduation in 1992:
From what I hear, Lexi’s sister Sharlie is doing great. At the age of 34, she not only beat the odds by giving birth to a beautiful son, but she has recently celebrated her one year anniversary of a successful double lung and heart transplant. It truly is amazing and I am so happy for her and her family. I know Lexi is watching over her.
So many people are affected by this horrible disease, and they need our help to find a cure. Please take moment to watch Chloe’s video and make a donation to help support finding a cure for Cystic Fibrosis.