This feature focuses on a special person or team who played an integral role in the 2013 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!
Ginger Birnbaum - Kenneth King’s Believers
Walk: Chattanooga, TN walk held April 21, 2013
Chapter: Tennessee Chapter – Nashville Office
Team: Kenneth King’s Believers, led by Ginger Birnbaum, her daughter Emma Virginia, 4 1/2, her son King, 20 months, who has CF, and her husband, Alex.
Impact: Raised $40,000 so far in 2013
Why I Walk
Ginger Birnbaum, leader of Kenneth King’s Believers, involves the community in her fundraising through cause-marketing. Each year, she creates pin-ups that people in her local community can buy, which are displayed on walk day.
Initially, our son, King, had two failed sweat tests. My husband and I just kept trying to explain away his symptoms.
When the CF diagnosis was confirmed, we were in shock, but we also had hope. We knew about all of the research that was being done to try to find a cure, and we wanted to be part of it. We got involved in Great Strides a month after his diagnosis and immediately started fundraising.
How We Fundraise
We have 24 teams in 14 different markets, so we really try to do what works best in each market. Nationwide, we use letter-writing campaigns, emails and social media. Here in Chattanooga, we work with local restaurants and retailers to do a lot of cause-marketing fundraising. We print pin-ups people can buy and, this year, we even had a billboard.
What We’re Thankful For
The support from friends, family and neighbors has been amazing. It’s an easy way for us to share our story, and an easy way for others to do what they can to help. Having so many people acknowledge this disease and take a stand to help find a cure is really wonderful. That support gives us the strength and energy to continue this fight.
Tips for Other Great Strides Teams
The National Family Great Strides Team Kenneth King’s Believers is made up of 24 teams in 14 different markets and raised $40,000 to help support the search for a cure in 2013.
I would encourage new teams to find creative and unique ways to get as many people involved as possible. Don’t be afraid to try new things. Getting your local community involved through cause marketing also creates a lot of excitement and that gets people interested in helping out.
My dream is for my son to have a life that will be manageable and long. I really want to see a control for this disease that does not create daily, personal challenges for him.