“When you want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe, then you'll be successful!”
I have ran more miles than I could ever count, but with all those miles, I have yet to run a marathon. It has always been a goal of mine to complete one. Unfortunately, my lungs don’t always line up with my dreams and ambitions.
I have Cystic Fibrosis, which is a genetic disorder that causes thick, sticky mucus to build up in my lungs and other organs. This mucusy environment can attract different types of bacteria, which leads to chronic lung infections. For people with end stage CF, their only chance of survival is to get a lung transplant, but that comes with its own battles.
Fortunately, my CF has been fairly manageable thanks to running. I have always found it to be my most effective treatment at getting mucus up and out of my lungs; however, over the years my CF has progressed and I find I get sick more frequently, so running has become difficult.
In September of this year, I was hospitalized due to constant infections in my lungs, which made it difficult for me to breathe. During my stay, I met one of the lead CF doctors at Boston Children's Hospital, Dr. Uluer. He told me that he was trying to create a CF marathon team for the 2020 Boston Marathon and wanted me to participate. I was instantly excited about his proposition and honored to be a part of this first ever CF team, but I was also unsure if I would be physically and mentally ready to endure the necessary training to take part in the event.
But when the time came to decide on whether I was well enough to run the marathon, I realized I couldn't turn down the challenge. I will be running the 2020 Boston Marathon with Team Stepping Strong and my amazing team of “CFers”!!
Thanks to this great CF community, we have been able to achieve such amazing advancement in medication like the new CF modulator; Trikafta. This drug is allowing people with CF to actually live a normal life instead of constantly battling this disease. Trikafta is a huge step in the right direction, but it is not a cure for Cystic Fibrosis; Therefore, we cannot stop until one is found. This is why I will be running and fundraising for the fight against Cystic Fibrosis until we find a more permanent solution. My goal is to reach $7,000 which will be donated to CF research, and I ask that you do the same. Every donation, no matter how small, brings us closer to eliminating this illness for good.
If you want to follow my journey to the 2020 Boston Marathon you can do so through my Cf instagram, @kates_race_to_breathe.