As I noted this morning, this evening was the kick-off for Howard County's "39 Finest Under 39" to support the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Dave Yungman was kind enough to nominate me for this honor and, after tonight, I am very excited about the opportunity to contribute.
I think every person at tonight's kick-off will be thinking a lot about Colleen over the next three months. Colleen has CF. When she was diagnosed as a baby, the expected life span was 18. Now that she's in her twenties, the life span is approximately 37. Colleen is a beautiful young woman who was there with her husband. She spoke passionately about the progress that has been made and the progress she hopes to see in the coming years, most specifically a "little pill" that will give her the opportunity to start a family and live past those time limits that have been placed before her. I couldn't help but look at her husband and think of my wife, who was sitting next to me. We get married with the idea of getting old together. After tonight, I will never take that idea for granted again.
Cystic Fibrosis is known as an "orphan disease" because it does not have the same public support as efforts like cancer or diabetes. It affects approximately 1 in 3,000 Caucasians (with 1 in 29 having the gene), which is a lower prevalence than many other more popular causes. That means people like Colleen rely all the more on you and I for our financial support. Ninety-one cents out of every dollar donated towards the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation goes towards research. I challenge you to find a more efficient use of your money, especially when you consider that in the end, you are creating time. More time for Colleen and her husband. More time for her to start a family. More time for her to tell others her story and raise money for an incredibly worthy cause.
We raised $3,000 to end homelessness. I'll be coming back to that Project in a month or so, but I would like to ask for your support to end Cystic Fibrosis and create more time. I would not ask for your money if I didn't think that every single dollar will have a tremendous effect. Whether you contribute $20 or $200, you are moving this effort forward.
My fund-raising page can be found here.