Thursday, February 22, 2018

2018 CF Climb - Shout out to our 2018 Team

Week 6 and the last of my CF Climb shout outs goes to . . . Team Olivia-Polaris for the 2018 CF Climb!

Thank you to all of you who have joined us and will be climbing on behalf of Olivia in 2018.

It's true, major changes are coming to CF. New drugs, better drugs. Symdeko was just released last week and the CFF is moving at a fast pace to get these drugs to those that desperately need them.

Jeff and I were told by our CF research study pulmonologist late last year . . . 3 years, the drugs in the pipeline coming in 3 years are life changing.

Jeff said that's a long time, I said it'll go by so fast. We are both right; 3 years will go by in the blink of an eye but with a disease where time is not on your side, 3 years is a very long time to wait, so much can happen.

With the momentum surrounding the CFF and all the good things that are here (Orkambi and Symdeko) and all those yet to come down the pipeline it's easy to think positively and optimistically about the future, it's easy to think that we can spare some time, that we can spare some money.

Unfortunately, with CF, there is never enough time.

For those with CF, young adults and even kids, fighting right now at this moment to hold on to life . . .

For those with CF waiting on the lung transplant list, with rapidly declining weight and lung function every single day, . . .

For those with CF doing well now . . . and in the blink of an eye life takes a turn for the absolute worst . . .

3 years is too long. 3 more years of life may very well never come. 

For me, I believe that 3 years will fly by, but there is no guarantee that just because Olivia is doing well now, that her CF won't take a turn for the worst. There is no guarantee that she will will be here in 3 years. It pains my heart, so very much, to type that, to think that, to know that, unfortunately it's truth.

It's truth because CF is a beast, an awful beast and disease in which things can go from ok to awful in the blink of an eye. We've seen it, we've read about it, heard the stories and we lived it in May of 2016 when Olivia went in for a pre-surgical check up and was immediately admitted to the hospital.

3 years.

CF has taught me to never take a single day for granted.

I hope and pray to God that Olivia is here and healthy enough in 3 years to benefit from these life changing drugs.

I know that just because there is very REAL hope on the horizon that it doesn't mean that I can do less fundraising or giving to the CFF now.

Again, I applaud and virtually hug each and everyone of you who continues to step up and DONATE to the CFF or climb with us. The support that we had 9 years ago at the start of this journey and continue to have today shows that so many of you get it too. It shows that I know, that you know, that we have to keep up the support of the CFF with the hope that 3 years, becomes less than that.

I know that I fight everyday for Olivia, but I also fight for every other person out there that has CF. I fight because I know that my daughter might be fortunate enough to know a CF that is unimaginable right now but so many others with CF won't.

I fight because life for those with CF will never truly be okay, until a cure is found. I fight because CF is a disease that affects entire family's. I fight for all those that have paved the way of what CF is today and those, like Olivia doing research now, that are paving the way for what CF is of the future.

I fight because there are so many with CF that never got the chance.

I fight because I live and see everyday how CF affects Olivia, Jeff, Landen and myself.

I fight because Olivia will always have CF and I will never stop fighting against it.

Once again, thank you to all who've joined us, all you who continue to climb and most importantly to all of you who have donated to the CFF.

Cheers and many thanks to our 2018 climbers:

2018 CF Climb Team Olivia-Polaris
Amber Beach
Larry Beach
Loren Beach
Braelyn Branby
Joseph Dowdle
Darci Fiala
Austin Jass
Carter Jass
Makayla Jass
Emily Jass
Steve Kruger
Tyann Marcy
Cole Naymark
Connor Nelson
Jarett Nelson
Kyle Nelson
John Scheierl
Corey Simonetta
Jennifer Simonetta
Justin Smoker
Diane Tavegia
Lisa Thackeray
Jeff Wolf
Bridget Oltmans
Jeff Oltmans
Landen Oltmans

Thank You. Seriously, thank you so much.

If you are still interested in climbing with us you can join the team all the way up until climb day on March 3, 2018. 

Friday, February 16, 2018

2018 CF Climb - Shout out to our Donors

Week 5 of my 2018 CF Climb Shout outs goes to none other than our DONORS.

In 2016, Jeff and I were honored to accept an award on behalf of Team Olivia-Polaris for fundraising over $100,000 for the CFF.

Since 2014, Team Olivia-Polaris has been the HIGHEST fundraising team for the MN CF Climb.

To sum it up, we've raised A LOT of a money for the CFF in honor of Olivia and there is no way, no how, that any of this would have happened without the generosity and giving from all of our donors.

Every. single. one.

Every. single. dollar.

Every. donation.

From, the bottom of our hearts. . . THANK YOU!

When Jeff and I set foot on our journey with CF some 9 years ago, it was a pretty dark and trying time. We knew we had to do something, we knew there had to be a way for us to fight back at this disease that was trying to cut our daughter's life short. We knew that a cure was needed and that in order to get it, we would have to fundraise to do so.

I remember my very first "cystic fibrosis" internet search. I was warned by our CF team, not to google CF. I chose at the time to abide as it was grim enough, I wanted to stay naive while I could, for just a little while longer. I stumbled upon the MN CFF Chapter with their next upcoming fundraising event being the 2010 CF Climb. I read through the event details, I pondered it for awhile and then decided I had to do it.

If I expected my tiny 1 month old daughter to fight to live every single day of her life with a disease that would do everything in its power to take life away, I was going to lace up some shoes, beg, plead and ask people that I knew to support me and start off fundraising right away, from the very start.

Even then, in 2010 I had some things figured out. After all, I was/am a stay-at-home mom, I have nothing but time to think. I wasn't getting a break or a single moment away from the sweet little faces of my two precious kiddos staring back at me. So even then, I knew that someday, my daughter will likely lash out and tell me how much she hates CF, how much it isn't fair, and then ask me what do I know and what am I doing about it, further telling me I have no idea what it is like to live with CF.

I knew then and I know now that for many of the things Olivia will no doubt lash out at me for someday when she's having a really crummy CF day, that she will be right in that I don't have any idea what it's like to live with CF. When the time comes, I will agree with her that it's not fair and that yes there are days I really hate that she has CF too, but the one thing that I understood back then and I still know today is that when she yells at me and asks me what I know about CF that I can in all honesty tell her this: from the start, I fought.

In 2010, when just a day prior to the climb we didn't know if we had one child with CF or now 2, we woke up the morning of the climb and Jeff looked at me questioningly and asked me if I was really still going to go to the climb event. Through tears, I tossed on some clothes, grabbed some shoes, and told him that no matter what I had to go, I had to do this for Olivia because even though life was awful that day, I still had to fight for Olivia because she will fight to live every day.

I remember hugging Amber as we reached the 50th floor, telling her that I wasn't doing this climb for 2 kids with CF. Emotionally and physically when I got to that 50th floor, I was spent, but still, I fought, from the start.

I can tell Olivia that I hated CF in 2010, everything about it.

I can tell her that in the instant that those doctors diagnosed her with CF, if I could have at the same moment given up my life so that she could live one free of CF, hands down, I'd have thrown in the towel, no questions asked, no second thought needed.

I can tell her that I'd still give up my life for hers today.

I can tell her that from the start, I knew it was now my mission to spread awareness of what CF is to others, to fundraise and fundraise and fundraise some more so that someday when a cure is found, I can scream at the top of my lungs that I played a part in getting there.

I can tell her that even though CF is her disease, it's not her burden to carry alone.

I can tell her that she has an army of supporters, so many people fighting with her to find a cure and putting forth the money to do so.

See without you donors, you generous supporters, we wouldn't be here. We wouldn't have been able to fund the CFF with well over $100,000 in 6 years. We wouldn't be able to tell Olivia year after year who is climbing for her and who has donated for her. If it wasn't for you donors, I would not be able to tell Olivia that I fought to fundraise with all I had so that she could be cured of this disease.


Our Donors.

Who support us year after year with your generous financial donations mean so much to us. Not only do I hope to rejoice and celebrate with every single one of YOU when a cure for this disease is found, but I know who you are, and on that day when Olivia feels alone, and hates CF and her life and all that is has done to hurt her, I have a list with your names on it and I will show it to her and read off your names, no doubt through tears and tell her that yes, not one of the names on the list is of a person who has CF, but that every name on there is someone who has given money to Jeff, Landen and I, tirelessly, year after year, to support her and fight with her and hope that someday a cure is found.

My list isn't complete, as it doesn't have all the donors who've donated to other Team Olivia-Polaris climbers, and yet look at all these names on all these pages!

I hope the day never comes when Olivia lashes out at me about CF, but if or when it does, I have my list to show her that there are so many people who do care and do support her despite not knowing what live with CF is like.

Thank you to EVERYONE OF YOU who donates to the CFF and our team for the CF climb. Please know, your names are on my list, as seen here, many of your names are on these pages so many times, for every donation you've made for the past 9 years running now. This list or small book, shows hope, support and is a tool for me should that fateful day come when I may need it.

Thank you will never suffice, but I hope everyone of you out there who has donated tirelessly to the CFF in honor of Olivia truly knows how beyond grateful we are.

Friday, February 9, 2018

2018 CF Climb - Shout out to 8 year climbers

Week 4 of our CF Climb shout outs goes to the few of you that have climbed with us in all 8 of our climb events to date.

Life is busy.

Everyone, no matter what, has their own life to live with, activities, bumps and hurdles along the way.

Every year, the CF climb is on a Saturday, those weekend days that are all too precious for each and every single one of us.  

Life happens, I know this very well and both Jeff and I never expect that everyone of our family members and friends will make it to climb with us year after year and yet, there are a few of you out there, who have climbed with us at every climb event,

all 8 of them thus far. That's a total of 400 stories or 10,240 stairs!

So today, I'd like to throw a shout out to our sister's Emily and Amber for adjusting your schedules and lives in order to be there to support ours for all 8 of the climb events we've climbed in to date. 

Every. Single. One! 

Both of our sister's Emily and Amber have families of 5 of their own to tend to and yet both of you have been there with us for the past 8 years. Absolutely Amazing.

Thank you doesn't suffice, but without further ado, 

Here is a big love filled thank you, photo style, to the both of you, displaying your support at every climb event we've participated in!

Emily will be climbing with us again this year, for the 9th year in a row. Cheers to that! 

Amber's busy family life has finally caught up to her. Her boys have a basketball tournament on climb day so they won't be able to make it. In true, sweet Mason & Matthew fashion, they said that their cousin was more important than basketball, so they'd prefer to climb but they need to be their for their basketball team and teammates, which we definitely understand.  

A BIG thanks to both of our sister's Emily & Amber for climbing with Jeff and I all these years and for taking time out of your busy schedules and lives to accommodate this event that is so important to ours. 

Friday, February 2, 2018

2018 CF Climb - Shout out to the Lohse's & Dreams for Olivia

Week 3 of our CF Climb shout outs and today I'd like to throw a shout out to the Lohse's and the Dreams For Olivia Golf & Silent Auction event.

For our 2017 golf event, the weather was less than desirable. It was cold, it was rainy and had rained many days leading up to the event. Jeff and I figured the golf course would be a soggy mess, unable to golf on and that the event would need to be cancelled for the year.

Never Doubt.

The folks that have been showing up for this golf event since the get go are beyond amazing. Their hearts are clearly in it for all the right reasons. Despite the weather, we had an amazing turnout, so many wonderful folks showed up to support the cause even without knowing if they'd get to swing a club once. Even if golf couldn't happen, there were many activities that were set up to fill it's place; cornhole, shuffleboard, cards, dice and Hammerschlagen. Not to mention all the bidding that went on at the silent auction was phenomenal and a huge thanks to everyone who donated items and bid on them. It was a very successful event that required a lot of planning and time and we are so thankful for the Lohse's for planning it and for all the generous people that came out for the day. The weather did clear enough that the golf tournament was able to go on for all those willing to golf in the windy, cold, misty weather.  😊


What is even more mind boggling is that we are able to gift $4,300 to the CFF for the 2018 CF Climb from our 2017 Dreams for Olivia event! Now that is what you call a success!

So here's a shoutout to the Lohse's for accepting the torch that Tyann (a huge thanks to Tyann for beginning this event 6 years ago) passed on to you and to achieving great success through this event in 2017.

We cannot express our gratitude enough for this event and all that it does to support our family, Olivia and the CFF.

Friday, January 26, 2018

2018 CF Climb - Shout-out to the Polaris Crew

Week 2 of my 2018 CF Climb shout-outs and today I'd like to throw a shout-out to the Polaris Crew of Team Olivia-Polaris.

These folks are a huge staple for this team.

Thanks to all of the Polaris folks that have joined us over the years, the amount of climbers on our team has gone from less than 10 in our very first climb event to over 50 total climbers in the 2017 event. These climbers bring with them the matching gift from the Polaris Foundation which has made the amount of money we are able to raise for the CFF soar!

2017 Polaris Climbers for Team Olivia-Polaris

So here's a BIG thanks to the employees from Polaris that take time of out their busy lives to join us on a precious Saturday to support the CFF.

Jeff is beyond blessed to work with some very caring and generous people and we feel very fortunate to call you friends.