On November 18, I ran the Philadelphia Half-Marathon in honor of my friend Jessica Reed who has been fighting Cystic Fibrosis since birth. Cystic Fibrosis (CF) is an inherited chronic disease that affects the lungs and digestive system of about 30,000 children and adults in the United States (70,000 worldwide).
The last few years have been a rollercoaster for Jessica and her family. She was a lucky recipient of new lungs and underwent a transplant in 2009. A lung transplant does not cure CF because the defective gene that causes the disease is in all of the cells in the body, not just in the lungs. While a transplant does give a person with CF a new set of lungs, the rest of the cells in the body still have the CF and may already be damaged by the disease. Further, organ rejection is always possible. Unfortunately, Jessica is now battling a chronic lung rejection. The past few months have been particularly difficult for Jessica but her spirit is positive and she never stops fighting. Every email I receive from Jessica, no matter how difficult the news, she always puts a positive spin on things.
This year, I ran 13.1 miles in honor of my friend Jessica. She inspired me to get back out there and I cannot think of anyone I would want to run for more. With the help of amazing people, I raised 1,950 before the race. The race is over but her fight continues. Please help me reach my goal of $3,000.
I know there are so many charities and foundations to donate to and I know the economy is tough. I completely understand if you cannot donate and ask that you simply say a prayer and/or send a comforting thought. But, if you can donate, I ask that you do. It doesn't matter how much you give; every amount counts and will be greatly appreciated.
Jessica has requested that the donations go to the Lung Transplant Foundation. Lung transplantation is a relatively rare procedure, and this area receives little research support from the National Institutes of Health or any disease-specific research foundation. Currently, the Lung Transplant Foundation is researching treatments for chronic lung rejection, but there is no cure.
Your donation through this page will go directly to the foundation. You can visit their site at http://lungtransplantfoundation.org.
From the bottom of my heart, thank you.
- Kimberly Skaff
- Jessica Robertson
- Kristal Ray
- Kristin Knight
- Carly Yansak