"65 Roses" is what some children with cystic fibrosis (CF) call their disease because the words are much easier for them to pronounce. Mary G. Weiss became a volunteer for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation in 1965 after learning that her three little boys had CF. Her duty was to call every civic club, social and service organization seeking financial support for CF research. Mary's 4-year-old son, Richard, listened closely to his mother as she made each call.
After several calls, Richard came into the room and told his Mom, "I know what you are working for." Mary was dumbstruck because Richard did not know what she was doing, nor did he know that he had cystic fibrosis. With some trepidation, Mary asked, "What am I working for, Richard?" He answered, "You are working for 65 Roses." Mary was speechless.
He could not see the tears running down Mary's cheeks as she stammered, "Yes Richard, I'm working for 65 Roses."
- From "65 Roses"
This is a first for me, and it's appropriate that my first online fundraising attempt would be for a cause that is dear to me. Cystic Fibrosis is a disease that affects relatively few people directly - approximately 30,000 children and adults in the United States have cystic fibrosis. But an additional ten million more—or about one in every 31 Americans—are carriers of the defective CF gene, but do not have the disease.
Someone I love has cystic fibrosis. I'm not going to name him here because he's too young to decide to be a spokesperson. But I've learned enough about CF to know that we can do something meaningful about it. There is no cure - yet - for cystic fibrosis and the disease generally gets worse over time.
The life expectancy for people with cystic fibrosis has been steadily increasing over the past 40 years. The numbers can easily make you sad - but they can also inspire. This timeline shows how incredible the advancements have been in treating CF ... just imagine what could happen in only a few more years if we were able to focus on it!
GREAT STRIDES is the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation's largest and most successful national fundraising event. My parents, brothers, and their families will be participating in the GREAT STRIDES walk at the Batchelor Middle School on May 1, 2010.
Please help us meet our fundraising goal by supporting Team Matthews. Your generous gift will be used efficiently and effectively, as nearly 90 cents of every dollar of revenue raised is available for investment in vital CF programs to support research, care and education.
Making an on-line donation is easy and secure. Click the "Click to Donate" button on this page to make a donation. Any amount you can donate - even a few dollars - is greatly appreciated!
Research and care supported by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is making a huge difference in improving the quality of life for those with CF. Help is needed now more than ever to ensure that a cure is found. To learn more about CF and the CF Foundation, visit http://www.cff.org.
We believe we can make a difference in the lives of those with CF! Thank you for supporting the mission of the CF Foundation and GREAT STRIDES!
Photo courtesy of Pittsburgh's 50 Finest