As many of you know, my mother, Rhonda Lewis suffered from cystic fibrosis. Cystic fibrosis is a devastating genetic disease that affects the lungs and digestive system. More than ten million Americans are symptomless carriers of the defective CF gene - including myself.
My mother had a rare mutation Delta F508/P67L. When she was born most children with CF didn't live past elementary school. Thanks to research and medical advances the median survival age is around 40 years old. We are incredibly fortunate that she was able to lead a somewhat normal life (even having two children of her own) until her early 50s when her health began to rapidly decline leading to her eventual double lung transplant at UPMC. In the last two years of her life I was her sole caretaker. I quickly began to see the tumultuous rollercoaster that many CF families face but that my mother had worked so hard to hide from me.
I will soon be honored by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation at a special event recognizing outstanding young professionals in my community. In accepting this distinction, I have committed to raise money to help the Foundation realize its mission of controlling and curing cystic fibrosis. As I continue to process and mourn my mother's death, I cannot imagine a better way to honor her and continue to advocate for those in my community.
I hope with the generous donations from you all that I will quickly surpass my fundraising goals. Your gift will be used efficiently and effectively to help support vital CF research, medical, and education programs.
Making a donation is easy and secure! Just click the Donate button on this page to make a donation that will be credited to my fundraising efforts. Any amount you can donate will be greatly appreciated!