Sabrina Walker wrote -
My name is Sabrina Smith Walker, I have Cystic Fibrosis and I am a cancer survivor. I was born and raised in Anchorage, Alaska and I am one-fourth Tlingit Indian. When I was 4 years old, I was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis (CF).
Cystic fibrosis is an inherited chronic disease that affects the lungs and digestive system and causes thick, sticky mucus to build up in the lungs, digestive tract, and other areas of the body. That type of environment is perfect for bacteria to thrive and create scar tissue and lung damage in CF patients. About 30,000 children and adults in the United States (70,000 worldwide) have CF. The predicted median age of survival for a person with CF is in the late 30s.
A few months after graduation from high school, I was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. At that time, I went through rigorous treatments of chemotherapy and radiation. However, I am now 28 years old (soon to be 29) and have been in remission for 9 years.
From that difficult point in my life, I learned how important it is to appreciate life. I also have wonderful parents, husband, family, and friends who have supported me through all of my health related ups and downs. They helped me to see and to understand that an optimistic outlook on life is important, that it is always better to look at the positive over the negative. From them, I also learned to value and to practice a healthy, active, and positive lifestyle.
This year I won a contest, which featured a story about me running with Cystic Fibrosis in Runner’s World! This year (April 2015) I will also be adding a new role to my life, a mother!
Every year I run the Lost Lake Run (16 Mile Trail Run) for my own personal health and to raise funds for Cystic Fibrosis. This race challenges me mentally and physically. I believe that running or jogging regularly can help stem the negative affects of CF. While there are many medical treatments that I must follow in order to help my lungs stay healthy, I have found that running has been the best airway clearance. I want to inspire others with CF to exercise, it is an essential part of staying healthy and we need to do everything we can to survive.
CF has impacted my life as well as many others so significantly that I would like to help fundraise in order to help find a cure. I look forward to this challenge, as I look forward to the day we find a cure for CF. I am hopeful for a CF cure in my lifetime! Your donations help to bring the CF community closer to a cure.