Every year my radio station puts together a team for St. Luke Children's Hospital's FitOne 5K/10K/Half Marathon. It's one of the few times you'll see me walking rather than running in a race because it gives me a chance to meet some of the awesome people that signed up for our team. Last year, a little girl named Emma and her sister Brooke joined our team. Emma, hands down, is one of the bubbliest, most energetic kids I've ever met. She held my hand and literally dragged me through the FitOne course. You'd never be able to tell that she was sick.
But for the past nine years this little rockstar has been battling Cystic Fibrosis. CF is a life-threatening genetic disease that affects people's lungs and digestive systems. A defective gene causes the body to produce mucus much thicker and stickier than you or I experience. It clogs the lungs and leads to life-threatening lung infections and can keep the pancreas from breaking down down food and absorbing nutrients. Emma told me that every day she has to take medication through a mask and wear a vest that she doesn't like because of her CF.
After doing FitOne and the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure with our radio station team, Emma asked me to be part of her team for the Great Strides CF Walk. There was no way I could say no to that face! The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation put together a beautiful 5K course along the Boise Green Belt, brought out tons of games and balloons for kids and had some pretty awesome raffle prizes to benefit their fundraising total.
That total was absolutely incredible! This year's Great Strides CF walk raised $88,194 to find a cure for Cystic Fibrosis and exceeded expectations with over 700 participants. The walk takes place in Julia Davis Park at the end of May. If you'd like to join Emma and I on Team JEM next year, I'll make sure to post the details on the date for 2016 as soon as it's released!