I sure was glad to get my walking shoes on this past Saturday, especially for such a good cause.
With much attention being paid to the upcoming Relay for Life and other similar events, there was one fundraising walk that was unfortunately overlooked. It was the Great Strides event held at the Lock and Dam in Augusta to raise money for Cystic Fibrosis research.
Priscilla and I became aware of the disease when we found out that a member of my youth group and his now late older brother both suffered from it. You wouldn't know there's anything different about Alex except for the occasional heavy cough.
But after Alex's brother, Phillip, passed away in July at the age of 19, I knew the disease was a horrible one that had devastated the lives of people I loved. And if there was anything I could do to help, I would.
Alex, a senior at Harlem High, organized a motorcycle ride fundraiser in October and asked for my help in getting the word out. I gladly obliged by passing the word on to my friends at The Columbia County News-Times who did an excellent job on the story.
We also posted it in our Refrigerator Front on page two, and I called everyone I knew who rode a motorcycle. The event did really well; I was proud of him.
This Saturday was the latest installment of a yearly event organized by the local chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. We took a couple of laps around the park, stayed for lunch and the door prizes.
But as terrible as this genetically passed down disease is, I expected to see more people out there walking. I know cancer is vile, but the amount of money raised at the region-wide CF event paled in comparison to even the money raised at McDuffie County's Relay for Life last year.
Yes, I hate cancer. It has claimed many of my friends and family members. I am even a survivor myself. But there's something even more wicked in a disease that can only be inherited and steals quality of life as well as years from the young.
The popularity of those fundraising rubber bracelets is huge right now. It seems every disease and every organization has one. I wear only two, but they are two that mean something to me.
On my left hand, I wear a purple one for cancer. And on my right hand, I wear a blue one for CF. It simply reads "Breathe" in honor of each CF patient's struggle for every breath.
Those bracelets are for sale at The Mirror office. Please come by and pick one up for $2. Help find a cure, even in your own small way.
And if those bracelets aren't your style, just come by with a check made out to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. We'll be glad to pass your contribution on to those trying to eliminate this disease.
To those of you getting your checkbooks out right now, I thank you.
And so does Alex.