Cystic Fibrosis · Family

T-shirts and pizza and squirrels. Wait … squirrels?

It was Great Strides day in Akron today. I arrived early to help with setup and registration.20130519-185352.jpgHardesty Park in Akron gets festooned with banners and signs in short order.20130519-185344.jpg

T-shirts are stacked up in monstrous piles for any walker who raised at least $100. (I get mine in size Little Boy. The boys wear t-shirts more than I do.) See that lovely woman in the pinkish shirt, in the left side of the picture? That’s one of Levi’s CF nurses. We heart her.

My friend Joann came, with her daughter Maddie.20130519-185335.jpgJoann, in fact, has come and walked every year since Levi was about 9 months old. Every single year.

These people have come every year, too.20130519-185328.jpgThat’s my brother Chris, his wife Angela, and my niece and nephew. The kids are nine and eleven, and were the first runners/walkers to show up back at the pavilion. I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty impressed.

I saw lots of folks that I see once or twice a year at CF events, made people fill out registration forms, and handed out pizza. Then we sorted signs and helped load the van. I was there just over five hours, and I’m pretty tired, but it was a great day.

The total was announced when all the walkers were back. Just over $120,000 was raised for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation today. More than 90% of that money will go straight to research toward a cure.

This is going to seem like a crazy non sequitur, but we had this recording of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory when I was a kid. The narrator was talking about one of the kids leaning over into a pit she wasn’t supposed to see, and says, “All she needed was one tiny push, and that was exactly what the squirrels gave her.” It’s a memorable line, and my sister and I have been parroting it for years.

I participate in Great Strides every year, I go to the CF Wine Opener every spring, and this year I’ll be doing a 30-mile bike ride in September to raise money for the CFF. All of that has nothing to do with Willy Wonka, except this: We are so close. We are SO close to a cure. All we need is one tiny push.

All of you that have donated, and walked, and prayed? You are awesome. Thank you for being squirrels. Please keep pushing.

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