I first learned of Sal’s Pals about five years ago from a then acquaintance of mine. In 2011, I attended my first event, a wine tasting at the Pinnacle. At that time, Cystic Fibrosis (CF) was something that I knew very little about, and I was unaware of the exciting progress that was being made toward finding a cure for CF.
At the wine tasting, I listened to Jenny Pinardo speak. A local mom around my age, with a son the same age as my daughter Maddie. I was so moved by Jenny and her husband Rick’s story, that I decided I wanted to join the fight to find a cure for Cystic Fibrosis.
Jenny told the story of a beautiful baby born to his proud parents. Little did Rick and Jenny know that they were both carriers of genes that cause Cystic Fibrosis. In 2001, Sal was diagnosed with CF. Faced with the devastating news that their son would require daily breathing treatments, a lengthy regimen of medications, doctor visits, and a life expectancy under the age of 30, Rick and Jenny took action. With the support of friends and family, Sal’s Pals was born. A charity committed to supporting research toward finding a cure so that Sal, and others like him, can have the opportunity to live the long and happy life that they deserve.
In ten years time, Sal’s Pals has raised over a million dollars and Sal’s Pals is full of hope that a cure is on the horizon. The median life expectancy for a CF patient has risen to close to 40, as a result of medications that are treating the genetic defect of CF and are changing CF patients’ lives, including Sal’s. While the survival rate has improved, the fight must continue.
Sal is now a freshman at St. Francis, plays several sports, and is an inspiration to others with CF. Thanks to warriors like Sal and all those who have contributed to finding a cure for CF, future generations will be able to breathe easier with long lives ahead of them.
The Sal’s Pals annual dinner auction is coming up on April 30 at St. Francis High School. I will be attending, along with that acquaintance of mine, my now husband Chris, and over a hundred other amazing people who support this very worthy cause. If you have never attended a Sal’s Pals or CF event, I strongly encourage you to join us. Not only will you feel inspired, you will likely make new friends, and will feel hopeful knowing that your support is making a real impact, not only on lives today, but on future generations to come.
Until There’s a Cure,