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Fighting for breath

It's that time of year again. It's time to hit the pocketbooks for good causes. Several large-scale fundraising activities begin in our area around this time, but this year I want to challenge everyone to include one a little different from the norm.

The American Cancer Society's Relay for Life is by far the largest fundraising effort within McDuffie County. They kicked off their efforts a couple of weeks ago, getting teams organized to raise the money that will help fight cancer.

I very much appreciate that fight. Cancer has touched the lives of everyone in some way, and because of that, we should all participate in the Relay.

But that's not the effort I'm promoting this year.

February is always the month in which the American Heart Association holds its Heart Walk. Many people will gather at Thomson Middle School to trek a few miles in the name of preventing heart disease and stroke.

Fighting the top killer in our country is a noble cause. It is one that's often overshadowed locally by the fight against cancer. I wish more people would get involved in this endeavor as well.

But that's not the fundraiser I want to highlight this year, either.

It's funny the way we decide what to take on when it comes to fundraising efforts. Cancer and heart disease have affected several of my family members, but what I want help fighting this year takes the lives of children way before their time.

I have witnessed the effects of Cystic Fibrosis on a friend of mine since he was 15. He is now about to turn 20 and has been in the hospital for 10-day sessions probably half a dozen times over the past year.

Cystic Fibrosis has taken his breath and his appetite. But that's not the only thing it took from him. His older brother died at the age of 19 from the same disease back in 2004.

I'm tired of this happening while everyone is focusing all of their attention on other fundraising efforts. I'm not asking for a lot; just share the love.

So here's your chance to help fund research, treatments and hopefully a cure for this horrible disease. The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is holding the Great Strides Walk, their annual fundraiser on April 28 at Savannah Rapids Pavilion in Augusta.

Please get involved. Organize a team, and have everyone raise money from now until the walk. Show up to walk at 8:30 that morning. Visit for more details.

Cancer affects people of all ages, and heart disease is typically found in the middle-aged to elderly. But CF always affects the young. So if nothing else, get involved for the sake of the children who are battling for every breath.

Web posted on Thursday, February 15, 2007

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