You may have noticed a flurry of online activity last weekend in the cystic fibrosis community around the hashtag #TakeaBreathforCF. Singer-songwriter and musician Richard Marx (of pop fame in the '80s and '90s, so there's definitely some fandom happening in my corner) wanted to raise awareness about CF during May's CF Awareness Month with a social media campaign. He knew a simple concept and hashtag would be key for spreading the message on social, and #TakeaBreathforCF was born.
Oh boy, did it take off! After Richard posted the video of himself taking a breath, a wave of other celebrities joined in. Some of my favorites came from Arsenio Hall, Bob Saget, Olivia Newton-John and Blues Traveler. And everyone on the digital team at the Foundation was pumped to see Shania Twain, CeeLo Green and Jane Lynch posting videos as well.
But, the best part for me was watching the CF community get involved. You posted your own breath videos, and you asked your favorite celebrities and heroes to join in. You thanked the celebrities who had already posted and, without a doubt, brought the cause of curing CF even closer to their hearts.
I've been pondering why this campaign did so well. First, we had lots of great celebrities get on board and, of course, that helps a lot! Second, it was easy to participate: Take a breath and donate.
Finally, and most importantly, I think the concept of a single breath really resonated with everyone. For those of us with healthy lungs, a single deep breath just happens, followed by breath after automatic breath. But for people living with CF, a single breath can be a struggle, painful or nearly impossible -- a monumental effort. Asking people with healthy lungs and people with CF to all take a breath for CF unifies us in action, thought and purpose.
I am grateful for everyone -- famous or not -- who has taken a breath for CF. Let's keep this momentum going, because every breath brings more awareness to the fight against CF.