VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — You’ve heard there is strength in numbers, and while that may be true, a group of people coming together for a cause in Virginia Beach must be sure to keep their distance from one another.
Saturday morning is the Great Strides walk for cystic fibrosis.
Those who have the disease however, can’t go within 6 feet of each other. They will wear special purple t-shirts to so they’ll be visible to each other.
It’s one of the many challenges a young mom of a CF patient shared with WAVY.com.
Tristan Underwood was outside throwing a ball — and having a ball when we caught up with him and his mom, Lauren.
You would never guess by looking at the 14-month-old that his time may be limited.
“The crazy thing with this disease is like you don’t know how it’s going to affect him,” Lauren said.
She remembers the day he got the diagnosis. “It was difficult finding out that your child has a life threatening disease is not an easy thing at all.”
Cystic fibrosis is a genetic disease that affects the lungs and over time limits a person’s ability to breathe.
In order to keep him as healthy as possible, Tristan must suit up in a special vest twice a day. It vibrates strongly against his chest to break up any mucus that may be building up in his lungs.
He also has to use an inhaler once a day even more if he gets a cold or runny nose.
It’s all in an effort to prevent him from ending up in the hospital.
Most with CF don’t live past their mid 40s.
That’s why Lauren supports the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and its Great Strides Walk on Saturday morning at the Oceanfront.
The goal is to raise just under $150,000 for research — for kids like Tristan.
“In the hopes that one day we’ll be able to say that CF stands for Cure Found and that way people don’t have to go through this anymore,” Lauren said.
The walk will kick off at 10 a.m. Saturday April 21 at the King Neptune statue at the Oceanfront
Registration starts at 9 a.m.
For more information, or to donate, go to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation‘s website.