I’m in the midst of training for the Lost Lake Breath of Life Run in Seward, AK on August 23. I was originally interested in running this trail race because of the amazing views I’d heard about, but as I learned more about the race, I discovered a much greater purpose. The 16-mile race is held to raise funds for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. While neither I nor anyone very close to me is living with cystic fibrosis, not everyone can say that. According to the CFF website, about 30,000 in the United States are living with CF.
Cystic fibrosis is a genetic disorder in which the body creates an abnormal amount of thick mucous. The mucous can impair the function of both the lungs and the pancreas. While there is no cure, there have been many advances in treatments and therapies over the past several decades, increasing both life expectancy and quality of life for patients. Currently, clinical trials for a new drug are showing good promise as a potential treatment for the most common form of CF.
As a person who has dealt with both asthma and pneumonia, I can appreciate the struggle of sub-optimal lung function, though I know my experiences pale in comparison to what those with CF have to go through every day. Having conquered both of my lung-related health issues, I feel it’s fitting to give back by using my lungs and running for the lives of others.