Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Awesomeness - Climb for a Cure

Thanks to our loyal family members and friends who continue to join us in this event each and every year and to the amazing co-workers/friends of my husband, the 2013 Climb for a Cure was by far our most exciting CF event thus far. Thanks to the recruiting efforts of Jeff's boss, Mr. Wolf, our team has more than doubled with all the Polaris members who have joined us. We can't express our gratitude to him enough for all he did to organize Team Polaris. One benefit of CF is that I've met many people on this journey that I believe are so much more than amazing. Individuals who are doers, fighters - who go above and beyond to make a difference in the lives of so many. For all the awareness and dollars raised by Team Polaris because of Mr. Wolf's efforts, there is no doubt in my mind that he is one of these people.

"One person can make a difference and every person should try." ~ John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Because of our partnership with Team Polaris and the generosity of the Polaris Foundation, Team Olivia raised an awesome amount of money . . . $11,475 so far - for the CFF through this event! I. Am. Speechless. What we raised through the 2013 Climb for a cure is more than we've raised for the past 3 years combined for this event! For everyone on our team who climbed with us to every single one of our generous donors who donated to support us - I hope you feel as amazed and blessed as I do to be a part of this - it is pure awesomeness!

This year was the first year that Olivia and Landen were able to attend the event with us. It was extremely special to have them there; for Olivia to see firsthand all the people climbing for a cure on her behalf. Not going to lie, having my children at this CF event, in peak influenza and stomach flu season was definitely anxiety inducing but I am blessed they were able to a part of this special day. It was heart warming to hear my sweet little munchkin's voice tell everyone she could "Thank You for coming", to the event. I have no doubt she felt the awesomeness as much as the rest of us.

With the kids at the event, Jeff and I decided to take turns climbing so we could alternate keeping an eye on them. I climbed by myself first this year so that Jeff could climb with the team and all the Polaris members that were there. Again, not going to lie, it was definitely not the same climbing alone without my team but I am honored that all things considered I was able to be at the event and do the climb. Climbing solo this year I think I made it up even quicker than in years past, clocking in at 14 mins 51 seconds. I was determined to climb as fast as I could in order to get back down to ground level to be with Landen and Olivia so Jeff and the rest of the team could do the climb. One benefit to climbing early though was I got my picture taken with these two:

T.C. Bear & Nordy

Here is our 2013 team - all 50 of us. This is beyond AWESOME. A big thank you goes to each and every single one of you for taking the time and putting forth the effort to do the climb and support the CFF on behalf of Olivia.

This is Team Polaris. Jeff and I are still beyond amazed at all the support of his co-workers and friends. It does not get any more awesome than this.

My dear friend Tyann, - another one of those individuals who is a doer, a fighter and goes above and beyond to make a difference in the lives of so many. 

My sister's - Amber & Darci. This was Darci's first year climbing since for the past 3 years we recruited her to stay at home with our kids. We were blessed this year that she could attend the event and do the climb.

Below are a few photos of some of the team members after climbing 1280 steps, celebrating on floor 50 of the IDS Center. Thanks to my sister-in-law Em for sharing these photos with us. 

Back on ground level, the kids and I along with cousin Emma and Grandma Dianne waited for our team to descend and got a few photos in the process. 

Emma, Olivia and Landen

Miss Olivia - the star of the day.

My two treasures.

and finally . . . the story of the honey badger. One of the Polaris teams named themselves "Team Mongoose". The team Jeff was on was simply "Team #1", so a few of those team members set out to come up with a different kick butt animal to associate their team with. Cobra's, eagles and others were kicked around and once Jeff enlightened me, I took to my friend Google and you tube to try to find something that would give the Mongoose a run for its money. While doing so, I stumbled upon a you tube video (see link below), absolutely hilarious. Jeff and I had a laughing fit as we watched it over and over and over again - he immediately had to share it with his boss. Indeed, the honey badger is a crazy amazing animal. For as fearless and determined as this little beast is, I think Team Honey Badger is a very fitting name for a group that is relentlessly fighting for a cure for CF, . . . perhaps I smell a name change in our near future.

Warning, video contains adult and vulgar language.

Even more importantly, I got Olivia's culture report yesterday from the CF clinic and it came back free and clear as normal flora! Prayers answered! Thankfully, the 3 week course of bactrim she is on has knocked out the staph. She also gained 12 oz over the past week - which is very amazing for her - so once again,we celebrate and rejoice in these accomplishments and keep working like crazy to keep kicking CF's butt for as long as we possibly can.

Monday, February 4, 2013


A brave CF mother once enlightened me when she talked about her war with CF. She wrote,

"I think every generation has wars. Some people are in the trenches while others watch from afar. For some it is a battlefield in a foreign land, or right in their streets, or in their bodies. War is war whether it is fighting for land, or rights, or to overcome a disease. War is hard and painful and it takes lives and breaks hearts but someone has to do it and in this war, this CF war, my family was enlisted to fight on the front lines."

The more I read through her story and the painful battle scars she has as a result I realized that she is right. We are fighting a war, a war against CF. Our journey in this war has been going on for 3 years, 4 months and 3 days . . . and we aren't finished yet. Others . . . have been fighting for decades. Way too many lives have been lost; brave soldiers who fought for as long as they could, who gave it their all yet didn't make it to see the outcome of this war. Without these brave men, women and children; the soldiers who have fought so many of the battles before us to lay the ground work and whom without we would not be in the position we are today. Decades ago the end of the war must have seemed so far away and so uncertain. But today, thanks to all of the heroes before our time, we are close, the battles are still there but are beginning to dwindle, soldiers are continuing to fight and with more soldiers being thrown into the battlefields every single day we are closer now than ever to the end. Small and big battles in this war are being won every single day, we are not finished yet but a cure is close - we will find it - we will win the war.

Battle #1: Money buys research to find the cure that will win this war; money that is absolutely essential to keep us going. So as we headed down to the IDS Center this past weekend for the Climb for a Cure, we definitely won this battle. This year, our team was huge. Jeff, Landen, Olivia and I along with 46 other men, women, children and infants (yes that's right a total of 50 of us) thanks to all of the Team Polaris members went to the IDS Center, climbed up 50 floors of stairs and raised an amazing sum of money to win this battle. 2013, our 4th year of climbing in this event, was our best and most successful year yet - yes I'd say we definitely won. Each and everyone of us gave it our all as we raised more than double the amount of money we have in years past for this event! We are continuing to muddle through the donation mess and get things figured out in terms of the exact dollar amount we generated but let me tell you this - it is going to be amazing! Not only were we successful in securing more financial support to continue this war but a whole new group of soldiers were brought in to continue this fight with us - a huge success indeed.

Battle # 2: Olivia's body fights every single day in her war against CF. She fights to keep her lungs healthy and undergoes a minimum of 1 hour of therapy every single day to do so. She takes a handful of pills, literally, and numerous different medications to help her gain weight, thrive and grow. This battle has been constant, it still is and always will be until this war is over, but as we headed into CF clinic today, for her quarterly appointment, we too won this battle. For a disease that relies heavily on numbers, which I have a love/hate relationship with, today I rejoiced. We saw her BMI increase by nearly double, while it isn't at the 50 percentile mark yet, we are nearing. Three months ago her BMI was at the 19th percentile, today it was at the 37th percentile. She is currently on a 3 week course of bactrim to help with a flare up she experienced a week ago and seems to be managing better. So we are praying that the bactrim will knock out the staph that has been causing her some issues and that her sputum culture comes back with no other nasty bacteria.

So with these good things we rejoice, we celebrate, we pray it continues and we continue to fight like hell to keep winning. We will keep pushing, keep living each day to its fullest and will always celebrate when things are good for we know all to well that in an instance things can drastically change. In the days to come I will compile all the good things from our 4th Climb for a Cure, (the money raised, the fabulous photos, the story behind the honey badger and so much more) can't wait to share this information with all of you! Thank you to each and everyone of you who climbed with us, donated and cheered us on.

I found this quote that I plastered onto the back of my Team Olivia t-shirt and it has instantly become my favorite:

Go for it now. The future of tomorrow is promised to no one. - Wayne Dyer

and so we will.