Each month through the end of the year, we’ll feature a special person or team who played an integral role in the 2011 Great Strides walks. We hope you’ll find this story to be inspiring as we continue to make Great Strides in our efforts to find a cure for CF!
Christa Drewry – Maci’s Miracle Miles
Walk: Tyler, Texas, Rose Rudman Park Great Strides held Sept. 24
Team: Maci’s Miracle Miles, led by Maci, 9, who has CF; siblings Blake, 14, and Whitney, 21; and mom Christa
Impact: Raised $41,000 so far in 2011
Why I Walk
When my daughter Maci was 3 years old, she was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis. After a three week hospital stay, we immediately jumped in and started working on the gala for our local CF Foundation chapter. We also got involved with Great Strides right away. It was my way to cope, I think. I felt like I couldn’t sit back, that I had to do whatever it takes to raise money and awareness. I wanted Maci to see her family being very involved and positive.
Maci Drewry, 9, who has CF, and her friend Davis Cleveland, from the Disney channel TV show “Shake It Up,” walked together in the Tyler, Texas, Great Strides this fall.
What Makes Me Proud
Maci loves school and animals, and she’s a very outgoing and happy child. She’s also in competitive cheerleading and hip-hop dancing. CF definitely does not slow her down, and we don’t treat her like she has a disease.
She wears her vest twice a day (and much more frequently when she’s sick) and takes about 35 pills a day, in addition to inhaled treatments. Since the entire family is very active with Maci’s treatments, she has never missed one. Someone is always there to help her. It takes about two hours a day to complete the treatments, so we use it as time to spend together since the rest of our lives are so busy.
Our Path to Fundraising Success
Maci loves the Great Strides walk. We make T-shirts and give them to anybody who donates $25 toward our team. We get all her friends together and have a letter-writing party. This year, her friends raised almost $10,000 just from those letters. I also promised an iPad to the top fundraiser, and one of Maci’s 9-year-old friends won it.
Maci sells bracelets that have her team name and Twitter account on them — she has almost 8,000 followers now! She created a video about having CF on her Twitter account, and people as far away as Singapore and the Netherlands have watched it and made an online donation. The video caught the attention of Davis Cleveland (star of the Disney channel sitcom “Shake It Up”), who walked alongside Maci this year and has helped her spread the word about CF and how to support the cause. They’ve become good friends in a very short time!
On the day of the walk, Maci feels the support of her school, her friends, her cheerleading team, and to her it’s just the greatest thing ever. It’s such a positive day for her. In fact, Maci says that it is the only day that it is OK to have CF.
Our Biggest Challenge
Trying to keep Maci healthy. I worry from day to day about whether we can get through this next month, or next year, with no hospitalizations. Maci has a great doctor, and a great group of family and friends who come visit her when she does get sick.
My dream is for a cure or something to control cystic fibrosis. I want Maci to be able to go to college, get married and have children some day. I want Maci to own CF, not for it to own her.
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