Take part in Great Strides 5K walk

Published 12:17 am Wednesday, October 8, 2014

How does your day begin? A cup of coffee? A shower? A quick read of the morning’s newspaper? A run? Well mine has started the same way for almost 30 years now — with a cough. Sometimes it’s only a few. Sometimes it feels like a thousand. That is how I, as well as approximately 30,000 other Americans who have Cystic Fibrosis, have started our days for the majority of our lives.

Cystic Fibrosis is a life-threatening genetic disease that affects the lungs and digestive system of about 30,000 children and adults in the United States. Every day, approximately three babies are born with Cystic Fibrosis in this country, and every day at least one person dies from Cystic Fibrosis.

Today, people with Cystic Fibrosis have a life expectancy of approximately 37 years. But because of advances in technologies, medications and procedures discovered through the research sponsored by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, that number continues to grow every day.

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It is through fundraisers done by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation that new drugs can be developed. There are currently two drugs through phase three of the drug process, Ataluren and VX-809 + ivacaftor, and already one drug that has made it to patients, Kalydeco. These drugs are special because they are designed to correct the function of the defective protein made by the CF gene, not just treat the symptoms. This is great, but there is still so much more that can be done.

That is why I’m asking the people of our community to come out and support this cause by joining me for the sixth annual Great Strides 5K Walk benefiting the Mississippi chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation on Saturday, Oct. 11. Registration will begin at 9 a.m. in the parking lot next to the old Cock of the Walk building on the bluff, and the walk will start at 9:30 a.m. A silent auction will be hosted following the walk.

Great Strides is the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s largest national fundraiser, with 600 locations and 125,000 participants nationwide. To learn more about Cystic Fibrosis, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and other ways you can help, please visit cff.org

I’d like to thank Copiah-Lincoln Community College’s Respiratory Care Technology Program, Dianne’s Frame Shop, Dozer LLC, Kelly’s Kids and Taco Bell, as well as many others, for helping make this event a reality.

If you would like to participate, sponsor a walker, or make a donation, please contact me at 334-868-9546, Dianne Kirby at 601-445-5444 or Walt Wilson by email at walt.wilson@colin.edu.


Sam Kirby is a Natchez resident and organizer of the Great Strides 5K Walk.