Friday, April 8, 2011

Great Strides Walk for Alivia

For last year's adventure, I took up the challenge of participating in the 2010 Saskatchewan Marathon in honour of my little niece Alivia and to support Cystic Fibrosis Canada (formerly Canadian Cystic Fibrosis Foundation), as my small, personal effort to help Cystic Fibrosis Canada raise funds for investment in vital programs to support research, care and education in their fight against cystic fibrosis.

This year, and hopefully for years going forward, our family is going to participate in the Great Strides Walk on May 29th to help raise funds for Cystic Fibrosis Canada. If you would like to join our team or support Finnegan and Keira in their efforts by making a donation, we thank you and pass along the sincere thanks of Alivia's parents, Elaine and Damian, as well as Cystic Fibrosis Canada.

What is Cystic Fibrosis?
Cystic fibrosis (CF) is the most common, fatal genetic disease affecting young Canadians. About one in every 3,600 children born in Canada has cystic fibrosis (~70,000 people worldwide). CF is a multi-organ disease, primarily affecting the lungs and digestive system.

A defective gene and its protein product cause the body to produce unusually thick, sticky mucus that clogs the lungs and causes severe breathing problems. It may be difficult to clear bacteria from the lungs, leading to cycles of infection and inflammation, which damage the delicate lung tissues. Thick mucus also blocks the ducts of the pancreas and prevents natural enzymes from reaching the intestines and helping the body break down and absorb food. People with CF must consume a large amount of artificial enzyme with every meal and snack, to help digest and absorb adequate nutrition from food.

In the 1950s, few children with cystic fibrosis lived to attend elementary school. Today, advances in research and medical treatments have further enhanced and extended life for children and adults with CF. Many people with the disease can now expect to live into their 30s, 40s and beyond.

For more information on cystic fibrosis please visit the Cystic Fibrosis Canada website.

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