18 miles closer to NYC Marathon!
September 17, 2017
BENEFITING: Cystic Fibrosis Foundation
ORGANIZER: Cystic Fibrosis Foundation
Everyone has a story...everyone is Fighting a Battle or
supporting someone who is fighting a battle.
I am fighting my own battle with Cystic Fibrosis. I am
fighting for all Cystic Fibrosis Warriors who are fighting to
BREATHE!! Together we will find a cure for Cystic
We need your help. I ask for your help
to find a cure for me and for all Cystic Fibrosis Warriors so we can
LIVE a LONG LIFE.
My goal today and every day is to raise awareness and to reach out for support to find a cure to help me BREATHE, to help all CF Warriors BREATHE.
Cystic Fibrosis is a progressive, genetic disease that causes persistent lung infections and limits the ability to breathe over time. One is born with the disease and currently there
is no cure. In people with CF, a defective gene causes a
thick, buildup of mucus in the lungs, pancreas and other organs. In the lungs, the mucus clogs the airways and traps bacteria leading to infections, extensive lung damage and eventually, respiratory failure. In the pancreas, the mucus prevents the release of digestive enzymes that allow the body to break down food and absorb vital nutrients.
The thing about Cystic Fibrosis, like some other diseases, is it is often an Invisible Disease. People will look at you and say "you look fine, you look great" when in reality your lungs, your chest, your body are in constant pain as you fight to breathe.
I would like to take this time to share my own journey
and discovery with my battle with Cystic Fibrosis.
Much to my surprise, I was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis
in 2012. I am what doctors call a patient with
"mild Cystic Fibrosis" that will progressively get worse. I have daily
medications and treatments to follow. Breathing treatments can range from 30 minutes to 2 hours twice a day. Some CF patients go through several hours of treatment per day.
At the time of my diagnosis, I had recently returned to work after being
on maternity leave. I could not get rid of this persistent
and nasty cough. At first, I was diagnosed with
pneumonia and went through 4 to 5 antibiotic treatments but
symptoms persisted. I was then hospitalized 2X with high fever. I
was diagnosed with a rare lung infection Mycobacterium
Avium (MAC) that mimics Tuberculosis. Soon after, I was
officially diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis. The persistent
coughing permanently damaged part of my lung and as a result I
have Bronchiectasis. After 18 months of intense
antibiotic treatment and visits to the Infectious Disease doctor and
CF specialist, my MAC symptoms now lay dormant. All the while, I was trying to balance a full time career and be the best mother and wife I could.
In 2014, I began my next journey to recovery. I started to re-strengthen my lungs and my body as well as my mind and my soul. I was determined to get healthy and to be healthy for
myself and for my family. I started to run. I was told by CF doctors
running is a great airway clearance for my lungs. So I ran and ran and
ran. And soon I participated in various half marathons. The thrill and
pure excitement of running past that finish line was exhilarating, invigorating and mind blowing!! I even placed 2nd and 3rd in my age groups! I did IT! I can do this!! I am still BREATHING!!! I am Strong!!
Prior to my diagnosis, I was extremely fortunate and blessed to have experienced a healthy childhood and early adult life. I was always very active and participated in various sports. My brother was a great inspiration and motivation!! So running and working out has always been a part of my life. So you can imagine my dismay when I was told my lungs are plagued with a chronic disease that eventually amounts to death. Me? I could die? No way!!!
Since being diagnosed in 2012, I fortunately have only been hospitalized once (fall of 2016) for Hemoptysis (coughing up blood). Other than that, I suffer from chronic Staphylococcus Aureus (respiratory tract infection) and the usual bouts of sinus infections, bronchitis and chronic coughing and chest pain and body aches which frequently require antibiotics.
BUT I keep moving and I will NEVER STOP moving. Some days, my lungs can only handle a mile run, other days I can run 4-5 miles with ease. I am so grateful and thankful for
the love and support I receive from my parents, my family and my friends.
I am proud to say that since 2014, I have completed 7 half marathons. My next journey is to complete the New York City Marathon in November 2017. I have joined the Cystic
Fibrosis Foundation's BREATHE TEAM. Our goal is to raise as much money as possible to find us a CURE to BREATHE AND TO LIVE.
Please help ME find a cure to LIVE, to BREATHE!!
Please consider sharing my story and spreading awareness!!!
I thank you from the bottom of my heart. BACI xxx Karen
Cystic Fibrosis Foundation wrote -
The mission of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is to cure cystic fibrosis and to provide all people with the disease the opportunity to lead full, productive lives by funding research and drug development, promoting individualized treatment, and ensuring access to high-quality, specialized care.
We Are Adding Tomorrows.
The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is the world’s leader in the search for a cure for cystic fibrosis. We fund more CF research than any other organization, and nearly every CF drug available today was made possible because of Foundation support.