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.”