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 2011 Great Strides, Great Stories

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!

Shannon Maguire - Team Maguire - "Claire for a Cure"

Walk: Lake Forest, Ill., Great Strides held May 14, 2011

Team: Team Maguire – “Claire for a Cure,” is led by Shannon and Ryan Maguire and their daughters Claire, 2, who has CF, and Maggie, 8 months.

Impact: Raised more than $44,000 so far in 2011

Why I Walk

Claire, 2, all dressed up and ready for her first day of preschool this fall.
Claire, 2, all dressed up and ready for her first day of preschool this fall.
My daughter Claire was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis at birth, through newborn screening. It was a complete shock.

My husband Ryan and I did our first Great Strides walk when Claire was one month old, just three weeks from the day we found out about her CF. We raised over $20,000 in that period of time — it was overwhelming and incredible that we had so much support right away.

We’re now a National Family Team with teams in Illinois, New York and Massachusetts, and this year was our third walk. We see it as a celebration for achieving our fundraising goals, getting people engaged in understanding the disease, and moving closer to a cure. It’s a day of hope, and a day to thank people for supporting us with the challenge that we have.

What Makes Me Proud

Claire loves reading, music, dancing and playing the piano. This winter, we’re going to get her out on the ice and teach her how to skate.

She’s a great big sister to Maggie and is very smart. You can sing a song to her once, and she’ll sing it back to you.

Recently she has started coming up to me, giving me a hug, and saying, “I love you mom, so much!” She is very good-natured. There’s just something about her — she has a dynamic personality.

My Biggest Challenge

One of my friends who has a 7-year-old with cystic fibrosis told me: CF is just logistics. If you can get organized and learn how to make it work within your day, you’ll be able to make your life “normal.”

The hardest thing is that our normal is slightly different than everyone else’s. We put Claire’s CF care first. We don’t make it our life, but it’s our priority.

Our Thanks

Ryan and I feel lucky that Claire was diagnosed right away, and we have such a wonderful team of doctors to work with at our Children's Memorial Chicago CF care center.

We see that even though CF is not something anyone would ever want to deal with, for us, it’s a type of blessing. We’re able to see life differently, and every challenge is an opportunity to realize the gifts we do have.

My Dream

My dream is for Claire to be as healthy and happy as possible, and to feel loved and to love other people.

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