For some reason it seems like good news is few and far between these days. We really do need some positivity, including me. I’ve been with annoying recurring health issues since May – really just a bad bounce, nothing more – but they pale in comparison to some of the larger problems that CF families have been dealing with in disaster stricken areas. For that reason I was really excited to go down to Houston this past weekend for one of my CF talks.

Coincidentally enough, I had been scheduled to go to Houston for a few months now, but after Hurricane Harvey struck the gulf coast, we sprung into action to put together a relief fund. In a lot of ways I was happy to go to Houston just to put the faces to some of the names of the CF staffs at both Texas Children’s and Baylor College of Medicine that I have been in contact with for the past month. It was a strange thing. I usually go to these talks hoping to offer a little inspiration an audience full of parents with little CF kids about how great life can be despite CF, but I came away feeling totally inspired by my audience. Texans are a great bunch of people, and I can tell our relief fund is going to have an impact.

Thanks to all of YOU who have supported us, we have exceeded all of our expectations for the fund already. Further, a few groups have gone above and beyond. We’ve received incredibly generous support from the Living Breath Foundation, a CF family in Texas who was unaffected, and a number of our corporate partners, most notably DCU in New England.

The donation that has made me most proud, however, was a $600 check we received from a little girl in New Jersey, named Jenna, who ran a lemonade stand for our relief effort.

Because of support like this we were able to go operational with our relief grants within in the past week or so. To this point, we’ve already been able to give away over $25,000 in grants and supplies, covering costs from home repairs, furniture replacement, car payments and in one case a brand new crib for an infant with CF after the old one had been washed away.

And this is only the beginning. After having been in Houston over the weekend, I learned that we should be expecting new grant applications within the coming days, which we, at the BEF, plan to fulfill.

I even spoke to the parents of a baby with CF who told me that their family had lost everything. The conversation was equal parts heartbreaking and inspiring. I plan to honor my promise to them and help however I can.

I came away from the evening feeling overwhelmed by everything the great people in Texas have been through over the past month, but know that their resolve and determination outweighs anything thrown at them.

Cystic fibrosis can be a very lonely disease for patients and family members, so it is our responsibility to help those in need. It is our mission to make sure that they never feel like they are alone in this fight. We must help them return to normalcy…. and we will.

Here’s the link if you’d like to contribute to our relief effort: