Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Charlie's Angels!

I'm participating in the "Great Strides" for Cystic Fibrosis walk on May 20th, 2006. I'm walking for Charlie, who's a close friend's son. He's adorable, bubbly, full of life...and doing very well medically. But there really isn't the same hype for CF as for other diseases.

So, I'm going to raise at least $150.00 for the walk. I've added a link to the left (under the links heading) titled, "Sponsor Me As I Walk for Cystic Fibrosis". If you click on the link, you can make a donation online. If I recall correctly, and I usually do, they give you a receipt for tax purposes online as well. If you don't want to make it over your computer, you can mail me a check (I'm not posting my address on here, email me if you need it).

(Who could POSSIBLY say no to Lil' Charlie Boo-boo? This is not an actor...this is an amazing real-life kid that I see regularly. Pictured in this post.)

Any donation amount is greatly appreciated!!

Below is some information about Cystic Fibrosis:

Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a genetic disease affecting approximately 30,000 children and adults in the United States. A defective gene causes the body to produce anabnormally thick, sticky mucus that clogs the lungs and leads to life-threatening lung infections. These thick secretions also obstruct the pancreas, preventing digestive enzymes from reaching the intestines to help break down and absorb food. The mucus also can block the bile duct in the liver, eventually causing permanent liver damage in approximately six percent of people with CF.

More than 10 million Americans are unknowing, symptomless carriers of the defective CF gene. An individual must inherit two defective CF genes—one from each parent—to have CF. Each time two carriers conceive, there is a 25 percent chance that their child will have CF; a 50 percent chance that the child will be a carrier of the CF gene; and a 25 percent chance that the child will be a non-carrier.

CF occurs in approximately one of every 3,500 live births. About 1,000 new cases of CF are diagnosed each year. More than 80 percent of patients are diagnosed by age three; however, nearly 10 percent of newly diagnosed cases are age 18 or older.

People with CF have a variety of symptoms including: very salty-tasting skin; persistent coughing, at times with phlegm; wheezing or shortness of breath; an excessive appetite but poor weight gain; and greasy, bulky stools. Symptoms vary from person to person due, in part, to the more than 1,000 mutations of the CF gene.

According to the CF Foundation's National Patient Registry, the median age of survival for a person with CF is in the mid-30s. As more advances have been made in the treatment of CF, the number of adults with CF has steadily grown. Today, nearly 40 percent of the CF population is age 18 and older. Adults, however, may experience additional health challenges including CF-related diabetes and osteoporosis. CF also can cause reproductive problems—more than 95 percent of men with CF are sterile. But, with new technologies, some are becoming fathers. Although many women with CF are able to conceive, limited lung function and other health factors may make it difficult to carry a child to term.


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