The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

September 3, 2013

Walkers sought to help fight cystic fibrosis

The Commercial-News

---- — DANVILLE —Whether you donate $1 or $100, your help is needed in the fight against cystic fibrosis.

People are being asked to stop by Lincoln Park on Saturday to participate in the first “Great Strides 5-K Walk” or to simply make a donation.

Registration will begin at 8:30 a.m., and the walk will follow at 10 a.m.

Cystic fibrosis is a life-threatening disorder that causes severe damage to the lungs and digestive system. The walk will help raise money to ensure that the aggressive research into this disease continues.

Each walker who collects $100 in pledges will earn an official Cystic Fibrosis Foundation T-shirt. Additional prizes also will be given to participants in the walk.

Pre-registration has been slow, co-organizer Sandy Kepling said last week, but added, “We’re hoping a lot more walkers show up the day of the walk. People can stop and donate even if they don’t walk.”

Walkers can take pledges or sign up sponsors, and then walk as far as they want to around the park. Everyone walks at his or her own pace. Or, if someone doesn’t want to walk, he can make a donation or buy raffle tickets.

Families are invited to bring their children.

Kepling’s granddaughter, Brooklynn, who turns 4 this month, plans to be there. She was diagnosed with CF through an amniocentesis procedure before she was born.

Brooklynn’s parents, Jeffrey and Megan Kepling of Fairmount, underwent genetic testing before conceiving their daughter, and they were both found to be carriers of the disease. As a result, they decided to get the amniocentesis.

“The sooner a baby can be diagnosed with CF, the better,” Kepling said.

She added, “I really, really hope they find a cure for it.”Angie Fielder, coordinator of respiratory therapy at Presence United Samaritans Medical Center, decided to chair the walk — the first one in Danville — after learning about Kepling’s granddaughter’s condition.

Fielder and Kepling, who works in materials management at Presence, have known each other for years.

“That’s one of the reasons I decided to chair this walk,” she said. “It’s for a very good cause, and it just breaks your heart to see children who have this disease.”

She added, “Anyone can participate in this walk. There are no time clocks, so there’s no pressure to win this race. We just hope that people come out to help raise money for a worthwhile cause.”

To register to walk or make a donation, call Fielder at (765) 299-5369 or Kepling at 260-2228.

About CF

Fielder said there are more new cases of CF being diagnosed every year than new cases of cancer.

An inherited condition, CF affects the cells that produce mucus, sweat and digestive juices. As a result, the ducts and passageways of a person with CF often get plugged up, especially in areas such as the lungs and pancreas.

Although CF requires daily care, most people with this condition are able to attend school and work, and today they have a better quality of life than they did in previous decades. Recent improvements in screening and treatments mean that most people with this disease can live into their 20s and 30s, or longer.

Each day about three babies are born with CF in the United States, and at least one person dies who has this disease. As expected, the cost of this research continues to escalate as new technology is developed to help save lives.

FYI To register to walk or make a donation, call Angie Fielder at (765) 299-5369 or Sandy Kepling at 260-2228.