Each month through the end of the year, we’ll feature a special person or team who played an integral role in the 2010 Great Strides walks. We hope you’ll find this story, the fifth in the series, to be inspiring as we continue to make Great Strides in our efforts to find a cure for CF!
Christie and Durval Salema
Walk: York Beach, Maine, Great Strides held May 16
For Trevor, 11, who has CF, running along the ocean with his family and friends is his favorite part of Great Strides. One day he hopes to go boating and catch a really big fish.
Team: Team Trevor, led by Trevor, 11, who has CF, siblings Cooper, 7, and Gracie, 5, and parents Christie and Durval Salema
Impact: Raised $135,000 in 2010 to support the CF Foundation’s vital programs
Why We Walk
Our son Trevor was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis when he was four and a half months old. We were totally blind-sided and didn’t know much at all about the disease.
After reading about CF and figuring out what it was, we knew this was something we needed to battle head-on — and that’s what we’ve done. Our goal is to raise funds and awareness by sharing our story and walking in Great Strides. We are making sure that Trevor lives a long and healthy life.
Tips for Other Great Strides Teams
Take the time to really explain cystic fibrosis and tell your personal story. When you speak to people from the heart, they get it — CF becomes real to them. And we really make an effort to make sure that everyone who helps us knows how much we appreciate them.
What Makes Us Proud
Trevor is really into fishing and being outdoors a lot, whether he’s playing basketball and soccer or riding his bike and throwing a baseball around with us. He tries as hard as he can to balance everything that’s expected of him, like getting good grades and being an athlete. And then on top of all that, he has to manage his CF: the vest twice a day, and two breathing treatments and about 25 pills each day. He takes really good care of himself, and we find it quite humbling.
Our Biggest Challenge
For us, it’s all about balance. With three fast-moving children, we don’t want CF to take over the house. Managing the disease is very labor intensive, and we also have to be strategic with our time when we fundraise.
We are lucky to have friends and family who are very caring and giving, and they help spread the word to their families and friends. A lot of people don’t know what CF is and what it entails, but when you explain it, people will give what they can—and $5 and $10 donations really add up! We say thank you and we mean it from the bottom of our hearts.
We are also fortunate to have a really good relationship between Dunkin’ Donuts in our area (Durval is the owner and operator of a local franchise) and the Northern New England Chapter of the CF Foundation. Franchises in New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Maine have been very giving, and they deserve a lot of credit for raising awareness.
Our dream is that some day, we’re going to blow our savings on a big party to celebrate the cure for CF. There are a lot of other terrible diseases, and it’s our dream to be able to pick up a new cause and move on to help others.