2nd annual Great Strides Walk slated for Saturday

BY CHRISTI BERTELSON/BURNET BULLETIN

 

The Second Annual Great Strides Walk benefiting the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation will be held this Saturday, April 2 at the Haley Nelson Park in Burnet, starting at 9 a.m.

Madeline Grambrell, 14, and sister Savanna, 10, who both suffer from the condition, collaborated with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation to bring the walk to Burnet for the first time last year.

“We are very excited about the 2nd annual cystic fibrosis walk. Last years event was a phenomenal success and we raised nearly double our goal,” said Erica Grambrell, Madeline and Savanna’s mother and host of the walk.

“So far we have 10 teams that have signed up and we are expecting around 250 people to attend this year’s event,” said Grambrell.

Victoria Rucker, 28,of Burnet,has suffered from Cystic Fibrosis since she was three.

Rucker and her family participated in the first Great Stride that the Grambrell family brought to Burnet.

 “I enjoyed last year’s walk with my family, and I have my own team “Team Vicki” this year, I think this walk is very informative and CF isn’t an easy disease to live with, but its good to know you are not alone in the fight,” said Rucker.

Cystic Fibrosis is an inherited disease that causes thick mucus to form in the lungs, pancreas and other organs.

Mucus blocks the airways in the lungs, causing damage and making it hard to breathe.

Thick mucus obstructs the pancreas and stops natural enzymes from helping the body break down and absorb food, causing growth issues.

About 70,000 people worldwide have Cystic Fibrosis.

Each day kids and adults with the disease have a daily routine to follow each day like airway clearance, inhaled medications, and pancreatic enzyme supplements.

This does not include any hospital stays needed since patients with the disease have a higher risk of getting lung infections because of the mucus buildup.

“I have spent numerous days, weeks and sometimes months in the hospital, and being told I wouldn’t live past kindergarten, waking up and breathing are little blessings I look forward to everyday,” said Rucker.

Life expectancy when Cystic Fibrosis was first discovered was 18 years of age, since research and new drugs have become available the expectancy has increased over the years and is currently at 40 years of age.

Last year the Great Strides Walk brought 10 teams in and rose over $43,000 and with the same number of teams this year, Grambrell and her family hope to bring just as much.

“To be able to host a second walk and have our community come together and fight for a cure shows me that this disease will be cured soon and that it's important to people,”

“It's definitely important to our family and we will not quit fighting,” said Grambrell

The money raised at this event will be donated to the Cystic Fibrosis foundation to help raise awareness of the illness and research.

For more information on this event contact Erica Grambrell at 512-755-0880.

For more information on Cystic Fibrosis visit www.cff.org.

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