Fans, friends, and family…
Great Strides is just weeks away and this year marks the 8th year in a row that my family will be walking in the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s events around the country in honor of my nephew Gavin. Because of donations that fund crucial research, the life expectancy of Gavin continues to grow and has now reached 38 years. This is amazing compared to the fact that in the 1950s children born with CF rarely lived long enough to make it into a kindergarten classroom!
Living and playing in Rose City has sparked a special significance in my fundraising this year because Cystic Fibrosis is known by some as “Sixty-Five Roses.” As the story goes, a child with CF once heard his mother talking about his disease, but he incorrectly thought she was talking about “Sixty-Five Roses,” as he didn’t comprehend the like-sounding words, “Cystic Fibrosis.” Since then, many children with the disease refer to it by the easier sounding “Sixty-Five Roses.” Who better to fight Sixty Five Roses than Rose City itself?
When Gavin was first diagnosed with CF just after his 1st birthday we were overwhelmed with what the future might hold for him. Thanks to the persistence of my sister and brother-in-law, and the over 30 pills and 2 hours worth of treatments that Gav-A-Goo endures each day, Gavin continues to be my #1 fan. For my sister and brother-in-law, it is a difficult position as a parent, to look in to their child’s eyes when he asks if he can skip it all just for today so he can keep playing soccer with his neighborhood buddies, and say no because they are aware, in ways they don’t even want him to know, of just how critical those treatments and medicines are. I can't imagine being held back like that as I was pursuing my soccer playing passion as a little kid.
We know there are no guarantees in Gavin’s life, but every year we fight the odds. My family and I shamelessly ask you all for donations to help bring about a cure for my crazy, blond mop-headed #1 fan.
Making a donation is easy and secure! Just click the "Click to Donate" button on this page to make a donation that will be credited to TEAM GAVIN. Because a cure for CF is so close to my heart, if you donate $75 to TEAM GAVIN you will automatically be entered into a drawing to win Portland Timbers prizes including signed jerseys from Kris Boyd, Darlington Nagbe, Jack Jewsbury, Jake Gleeson, Eric Brunner, Eric Alexander, Mike Chabala, Steve Purdy and myself. Other prizes will include two tickets to watch the Timbers host Chicago Fire on May 20th, and four tickets to watch the Timbers host San Jose on July 3rd!
Thank you, thank you, thank you, and don't be afraid to sign up and come walk with TEAM GAVIN and I on May 19th at the Oaks Amusement Park! Contact me @jtbendik on Twitter if you want to walk sporting this year's TEAM GAVIN t-shirts!
Please visit TEAM GAVIN'S national fundraising page to help and keep track of our fundraising goal of a whooping $50,000 this year!