Sabrina Walker wrote -
My name is Sabrina Smith Walker. I have Cystic Fibrosis (CF) and I am a cancer survivor. I was born and raised in Anchorage, Alaska and I am one-fourth Tlingit Indian. I was born with Cystic Fibrosis but I wasn’t diagnosed until I was 4 years old. I was told that I would not live past the age of 8. Cystic fibrosis is a genetic disease that 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.
While I did have several hospitalizations called tune-ups, I still managed to maintain a healthy lifestyle throughout high school. I ran competitively for my high school's x-country running and track and field team. 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 27 years old (soon to be 28) and have been in remission for 8 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 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 techniques that help my lungs stay healthy, I have found that running, for me, has been the best airway clearance. I also 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.
Since CF has impacted my life as well as many others so significantly, 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. I will also be hosting a few fundraiser events and will be giving out gift certificates. Any type of donation is welcome for this cause!