Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Sal's Pals goes to school

Well it has been longer than 10 days but I think that I am getting better at the updates. Last Friday Sal and I got to meet up with our good friend Mr. Taylor. Mr. Taylor is the principal at Eagle Point Elementary School in Rossford, Ohio. Before a school assembly we started our day visiting different classrooms and giving the students a chance to meet Sal. Many of them had questions ready to ask, the most popular question they had was, "How has CF changed your life?" Sal was unsure how to answer this question. He looked up at me, confusion in his eyes, then assertively he exclaimed, "It hasn't!" I smiled at his reply but I could tell the kids were puzzled. I went on to explain to the kids that Sal was born with CF. Some of the little ones wanted to know if you could catch CF, Sal was quick to explain to them that you could not. I explained how Sal got the disease and the kids were much more relaxed. The presentation went really well. Students watched the dvd Bill Nie The Science Guy on CF. The video does a great job explaining the disease in a fun way. Sal then showed them what it is like for him to do his vest and his airway clearance device. Afterwards, the students answered questions about CF and won CF bears and bracelets for their participation. The assembly kicked off a penny race that the school will have in order to raise money for our Great Strides team. Rossford students will come to The Great Strides Walk on Saturday, May 2nd and present the money they raise while supporting the walk.
Some of these kids may never encounter anyone with CF again, some won't remember next week what CF is; however, in taking the time to visit schools we are raising awareness and educating students. This provides the opportunity for them to not only raise funds but to get involved in their community. Sal enabled the kids to put a face to CF and I firmly believe that is what they will remember. When Sal and I walked into the classrooms they were so excited to meet him and anxious to find out more about him. Seeing my 7-year-old son explain his terrible disease to his peers so effortlessly, not once realizing how different his life truly is just means we are doing something right. My goal for Sal is to never treat him differently, to make sure that he understands this is his life and CF is a part of it. By going out and raising awareness we can only hope that somehow it will lead to something positive. I don't think that Jeff Taylor realizes how unique and special he is. How grateful we are that he provides this opportunity for us and how much he means to Sal. Jeff was my sister Nikki's boss several years ago. She only knew him a short time when she asked if he would support a school wide fundraiser for CF. She told Jeff our story and without a second thought he was eager to help. 3 schools, and years later Mr. Taylor is almost an expert on CF, Sal absolutely idealizes him and he is an inspiration to me. When people go out of their way to help for no other reason than out of sheer kindness I am always moved. Jeff Taylor is one of those people. Thanks Jeff for your continued enthusiasm, support and inspiration!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

New Year's Wristband

This year one of my New Year's resolutions is to make sure that I update this blog every 10 days. We will see how I do! During this holiday season I felt extremely blessed. We continue to be blessed with the most amazing friends and family. Recently, we were out with some friends and I couldn't help but notice that everyone sitting with us had on an orange "Fight CF" bracelet. The bracelets are extremely hard to miss, not to mention extremely hard to match with an outfit! Yet everyone had their bright orange bracelet on. The wristbands are meant to show your support for a cause and help create awareness.  Each time I see someone wearing the CF bracelet it means that someone else thought about CF that day. Someone that doesn't necessarily have to, but they do it because they care. I did not mention that I noticed everyone sporting the wristband, but the fact that they wear their bracelets so proudly means the world to me.  So in honor of the "Spirit of the Wristbands" we will have a column on our blog site that will show you where Sal's Pals is now. Rick's cousin Dave has been traveling around the country with his wristband taking pictures at his different destinations. Dave thought it would be a great idea to post the pictures of where the wristband has been. So if you are somewhere and your sportin' your wristband, hold it up high, snap a photo and send it on to me!