Thursday, May 21, 2015

Great Strides update 2015

The final amount that Team Jacob raised this year was over $10,000. A stunning achievement. Furthermore, Sophie and Jacob were both in the top five for teens/kids raising money for the walk.

The Valencia walk raised over $70,000. That's staggering. Valencia is not a large city, yet our community continues to pull in some big bucks to kick CF's ass.

If you're reading this, thank you for your support and prayers. If you donated, don't worry, chill, cheetah, your thank you note is coming. I made a promise and I will stick to it.

I never realize how stressful the walk is until a week or two after it's done. I feel a weight off of my chest. I've become so accustomed to suppressing my fears and sadness over CF. Yeah, that ain't a good thing.

Thanks again.


Monday, May 4, 2015

Super Heroes and a Real Super HERO

Jacob and I went to see the latest Avengers movie yesterday. He thought it was awesome and had a hard time deciding which he liked better than last summer's Guardians of the Galaxy. Before our screening, there were no less than three super hero movie trailers! This wave of comic book movies has no end in sight.

Watching the film, though, I couldn't help but think that Iron Man, Captain America and Hawkeye don't hold a candle to the guy who was sitting next to me. While the stories of extraordinary humans with mighty powers are fun and a great way to escape, the real hero in my life is Jacob. What he lives through on a daily basis is more than any kid should have to endure. I wager to say that Bruce Banner wouldn't complain so much about his anger issues if he was living with cystic fibrosis.

CF is a pain in his tookus. Besides the obvious traits of the illness, here's some of the stuff he has to put up with. He misses school because his chest hurts or he's coughing too much or his stomach is really bothering him. He has to wake up aat 5:30 AM just to fit in his breathing treatments, take a shower (which helps open the lungs, as well as make his hair look good) and squeeze in a couple bowls of cereal. At night, when he's exhausted because his body is working overtime to keep him healthy and he made it through the school day, he does extensive homework and has a snack before it's time for his nightly breathers and then it's off to bed.

By now, this has become a routine for him, for all of us, and while there are the occasional moan and groans, for the most part he weathers it all really well. I question if I could have handled something like this when I was 13. Doubtful.

This kid, throughout it all, is the funniest, most interesting and loving young man I know. I wish I could say that he learned this all from me or Julie, but I believe that it's just Jacob's nature to be a really great kid. He is an example we all should follow when it comes to handling the curveballs that life throws at you, or in his case smacks you upside the head with the moment you're born. I only wish I could do more for him when it comes to raising money for CF. The best I can do is write.

And so I write because it's what I was born to do, and because I can use words to appeal to you. Please, consider helping us find a cure to this monster called cystic fibrosis. Help us prolong the lives of men and women and children.

One of my favorite scenes in a super hero movie is in Spider-Man 2 (the Tobey Maguire one). There's a brilliant sequence when Spidey has to stop a runaway train with every ounce of strength. He manages to save everyone on board, but collapses. The passengers lift him over their heads and carry Spidey back into a passenger car, where he can rest. When he comes to, even though these strangers have all see him unmasked, they tell Spidey that not worry. They have his back and they'll never reveal what he looks like.

This is our chance to help out my hero and show him that we have his back. We can all lift him up by donating to end cystic fibrosis so that he may someday rest without worry.