This article is the fourth in a series of five about the upcoming Shelby County Cystic Fibrosis Event.
Cystic Fibrosis (CF) is a deadly disease which affects approximately 30,000 Americans. It is currently incurable and affects the lungs, digestive system and reproductive organs. Real progress towards a cure has been made, but the lives of young people with Cystic Fibrosis are still cut far too short.
In 2012, Shelby Memorial Hospital (SMH) Chief Financial Officer, Phil Miller, was contacted by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation to organize and sponsor a Great Strides Event for CF. Having lost a sister-in-law who was also a SMH employee to the disease, Miller, the hospital and the SMH Foundation welcomed the opportunity to spearhead fundraising for a cure for CF at the first Shelby County Great Strides for Cystic Fibrosis Event.
The Shelby County Great Strides is a fun event which involves a two mile walk through the General Dacey Trail in Forest Park in Shelbyville. It provides a chance for people from the community to get involved and form teams through their workplace, service clubs and organizations or with family and friends. It is a morning of community support, music and food. Last year, more than 150 participants walked in Shelby County to raise money, educate people about the disease and support those who fight Cystic Fibrosis on a daily basis. Their combined efforts netted more than $23,000.
Miller commented, “We are pleased with the results from our first fund raiser. It was a terrific start in our efforts to fund research. The research and progress towards curing this disease have come so far. In the 1950s, few children diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis survived to see elementary school. Now, someone diagnosed with CF may live into their 30s, 40s or beyond. We want to find a cure. CF is still ending lives far too young as it did with my sister-in-law, Meliah.”
The Great Strides walk will only be a part of a special Shelby County Cystic Fibrosis fundraising day which includes three activities. Additionally this year, there will be a 5K run in honor of Meliah Miller and a Bike-a-thon. All will take place on Saturday, September 28, at the Shelby County Cystic Fibrosis Event.
Shelby Memorial Hospital (SMH) and the SMH Foundation have partnered with five local businesses: First Federal Savings and Loan of Central Illinois, Villas of Holly Brook, the Shelby Historic House and Inn, Ginger Moss Digital Photography Products, and Killam and England Insurance Agency, Inc. to sponsor the second annual Shelby County Cystic Fibrosis Event.
The Great Strides walk will hold registration at 8:30 with the walk beginning at 9:30 a.m. Participation is free with donations and pledges. All participants will receive a T-shirt.
Volunteers are needed to help with the day of the event to assist with Meliah’s 5K run, the Great Strides event and the Bike-a-Thon. If you do not wish to run, walk or ride in the event, please consider volunteering. Come out and support our friends, Joel Brachbill, Lexie Taylor, Makenzie Erwin, Abbie Pancoast Vollmar and 30,000 other Americans who fight Cystic Fibrosis every day. Cheer them on and work with us as we raise money for research to end this disease.
You may preregister or volunteer by calling SMH at 217-774-3961. To volunteer, please ask for Jill Wells. To preregister, please request Phil Miller or Carol Heiserman. Preregistration for Great Strides, Meliah’s Run or the Bike-a-Thon may also be done online at shelbycf.org or at MySMH.org.