For the past several days, I’ve been working on something I’m pretty excited about… and I’m hopeful that all of you will embrace this idea.
As you know, my friend, Marisa, lost her 33-year battle with cystic fibrosis just 11 days ago. (You can read more about her here.) Her younger sister, Wellesley, lost her fight with the same disease 10 years ago, at the even younger age of 18.
No parent should ever have to bury their child, much less two children… but this is the reality the Johnson family has known for over 30 years. Being aware of a shortened life expectancy of a loved one does not make their passing any easier. I can’t even fathom what that has been like for them. All because of a genetic disease called Cystic Fibrosis.
From the Cystic Fibrosis website:
What Is Cystic Fibrosis?
Cystic fibrosis is an inherited chronic disease that affects the lungs and digestive system of about 30,000 children and adults in the United States (70,000 worldwide). A defective gene and its protein product cause the body to produce unusually thick, sticky mucus that:
- clogs the lungs and leads to life-threatening lung infections; and
- obstructs the pancreas and stops natural enzymes from helping the body break down and absorb food.
In the 1950s, few children with cystic fibrosis lived to attend elementary school. Today, advances in research and medical treatments have further enhanced and extended life for children and adults with CF. Many people with the disease can now expect to live into their 30s, 40s and beyond.
- About 1,000 new cases of cystic fibrosis are diagnosed each year.
- More than 70% of patients are diagnosed by age two.
- More than 45% of the CF patient population is age 18 or older.
- The predicted median age of survival for a person with CF is in the mid-30s.
Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a devastating genetic disease that affects tens of thousands of children and young adults in the United States. Research and care supported by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is making a huge difference in extending the quality of life for those with CF. However, we continue to lose precious lives to CF every day. That's why your help is needed now more than ever to ensure that a cure is found sooner - rather than later. To learn more about CF and the CF Foundation, visit www.cff.org.
Team Marisa & Wellesley has been organized in their honor to participate in the fundraising Great Strides Walk on May 22nd to benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. If I lived in Arizona, I’d be walking with them, but unfortunately I’m 1700 miles away. :( I still figured there had to be something I could do from Chicago to help the fundraising efforts.
This is what I’ve come up with…
This week (April 18-22, 2011), I’ll be issuing a series of 10 different 5x7 printables (each available in 10 different colorways), two each day. I’ve collaborated with Marisa’s and Wellesley’s friends and family to come up with these – many of them have great personal meaning. I’m really happy with how they’ve turned out, and I hope you like them, too.
I LOVE offering printables to all of you for free. I love seeing how you display them in your homes, how you re-purpose them, and how you offer them to others. Your kindness and compliments have meant the world to me these past several months. So, I’m hopeful that your kindness will extend a little further to a cause I’m passionate about.
I’m not charging for these printables, but I sincerely hope that in exchange for the free download you’ll consider making a donation to the Great Strides Walk for Team Marisa & Wellesley. The blog world is generous, unbelievably so, and this will be an on-your-honor activity – I will provide the download link and the donation link with each release. A single donation is sufficient for downloading the entire series. No amount is too small – any amount you can offer will help make a difference in the fight to find a cure for CF!
You will be able to find all 10 Team Marisa & Wellesley Printables, as they’re released on the blog this week, by clicking on the button to the right.
I’ll be posting this project to some of the link-up parties listed here:
Thank you in advance for your generous support of such a worthy cause!!