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Gifts for a Cure: Giving Until It Helps

November 21, 2007

The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation recently launched its Gifts for a Cure gift registry, an innovative way for people to celebrate special occasions and help people with cystic fibrosis. Since the registry’s inception, many people have taken advantage of this opportunity to contribute to the Foundation.

Gift Registry - Alan-Eidelman
Alan Eidelman at his bar mitzvah.

A Bar Mitzvah Blessing

As part of his bar mitzvah celebration, 13-year-old Alan Eidelman chose the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation as his “tzedakah,” or charitable project, and invited guests to use the Foundation’s gift registry as a way to honor his Aunt Sandra Perez Milgrom, who lost her battle with cystic fibrosis at the age of 12.

In a note enclosed with his invitation, he said, “On October 21, the day after my bar mitzvah, my Aunt Sandra would have turned 36, which in Judaism equals double ‘CHAI’ or ‘Life.’” It would be an honor if you could help me raise money to this cause in memory of Sandra’s life and in honor of my bar mitzvah.”

Alan, who never had the chance to meet his aunt, decided to use —the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s gift registry, Gifts for a Cure, as a way to honor her and help others with CF. His guests made contributions online and by sending checks directly to Alan, which he then gave to the Foundation. He even included a donations box at the bar mitzvah, and asked kids to bring along a dollar or two extra to donate to the cause.

“I’m proud of what I did,” Alan said. ”It made me feel that I’d been helping out my community and all the kids who have this terrible disease. I wanted to do it so they could help find a cure some day.”

Between the donations given directly through the gift registry, and money that Alan decided to donate out of his own bar mitzvah gifts, Alan reached his goal: $3,636. “That’s double life,” Alan said, “twice.”

Gift Registry - Jimmy-Scott
Jimmy Scott and teacher Gabrielle Bezou
A Marathon Moment

For 17-year-old Jimmy Scott, running a marathon wasn’t just about putting in the miles. In fact, it became a matter of honoring a teacher and raising money for a cause that he believed in: finding a cure for cystic fibrosis.

“I got the idea of running for cystic fibrosis from my friend Megan Farrell, who ran the Boston Marathon and raised money for cystic fibrosis in honor of her two cousins,” said Jimmy. “Like her, I wanted to help the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation take advantage of the tremendous opportunities in research for drug discovery and development by raising some extra funds.”

Jimmy created a personal online registry for CF and dedicated his marathon to Gabrielle Bezou, a Special Education teacher at Seneca High School who was born with the disease. “After talking to Ms. Bezou, I understand the challenges people with CF face, said Jimmy: the pills, inhalers and treatment every single day.”

On a beautiful day this past October, Jimmy finished the race in 3 hours 43 minutes 17 seconds. “My family, Ms. Bezou, and her family were all there to cheer me on to the finish line,” he said. So far Jimmy has raised nearly $12,000 on behalf of cystic fibrosis.

Gift Registry - SniderToole
Carl Snider and LInda Toole with Hayley on
their wedding day.
Saying “I Do”

When Carl Snider and Linda Toole planned their wedding, they made a decision many brides and grooms don’t often opt for—no presents. “We were combining two complete households,” Carl explained. “We just didn’t need new china or a cappuccino maker.”

The couple agreed that the one gift they would gratefully accept would be donations to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation on their behalf. Gifts for a Cure provided a simple and efficient way to make that happen.

Carl and his daughter Hayley’s story is a familiar one. Hayley, a daughter from Carl’s first marriage, was diagnosed with CF at six weeks. Soon after, the family went to Texas Children’s Cystic Fibrosis Center (TCCFC) to learn how to care for a child with the disease. They have been under TCCFC’s fine care ever since, and Hayley, now 10, is in excellent health.

The family has long participated in the Texas Gulf Coast Chapter’s activities, and have a Hayley’s Hikers team every year for Great Strides. Hayley, a straight-A student, swimmer, and soccer player has been an “ambassador” at local chapter events for years.

“We were overwhelmed at the support we got from friends and family that came to the wedding,” said Carl. “Linda has been sending out thank you notes saying, ‘you could not have given a gift that enriched our lives more than helping to find a cure for CF.’”

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