I have often wondered how Sal feels about all of the fundraising that we do. Fundraising is all he has ever known. Since he was 18-months-old he has watched others around him work for Sals Pals. Don't get me wrong we do not eat, breath and sleep fundraisers although some weeks it does feel that way. Our family works and plays like anyone else.
Two years ago we attended a fundraiser and I got up in front of the audience with Sal to tell our CF story. Sal had never actually gone up on stage with me before. As I started to explain my connection with CF to the audience; before I could even introduce him, Sal was proudly waiving his hand up in the air exclaiming, "Hi I'm Sal, I am the one who has CF." So now that we have established to the chuckling crowd who Sal is, I continued on with my speech. I practiced this speech a hundred times but never had Sal been at my side. As Sal looked up at me, listening so intently, my heart just sank. Here I was standing up on stage pleading with these people about why we desperately need money for CF. For the first time I could feel it - I knew that Sal knew why it was so important to raise money. As I was trying to finish, tears streamed down my face. Out of the corner of my eye I could see tears running down Sals face too. He very gently grabbed my hand so I could finish. After the speech I knelt down beside him and hugged him. When we stood up our audience was on their feet. I think the audience felt the impact of what they had just witnessed. On the car ride home that night I asked Sal what he thought of my speech. He quickly responded, "I think you really need me up there mom." His smile was contagious and Rick and I couldn't help but laugh.
When Rick and I decided that we wanted to raise money for CF, we did it because we knew that if anything ever happened to Sal and we did not try and do everyhting in our power to help him, we knew we could never forgive ourselves. Sal is energetic and happy. When I look at Sal I am constantly reminded of how precious life truly is and why it is so important that we make a difference for all those living with CF. This year after the wine tasting Sal wrote this letter. I wanted to share it because it's Sal's point of view. Reading his words about CF make all of those sleepless nights we have getting things ready for events all worth it. "Dollars buy science and science buys life for those afflicted with cystic fibrosis." He also drew the B.P. gas truck. B.P. has been one of our largest corporate sponsors over the years, so I guess Sal thinks he can drive one!