300 Miles for Cystic Fibrosis: Running for a Cure
My name is Bradley Poole. I am 33 years young and I live with Cystic Fibrosis. CF is a rare and progressive disease that primarily affects the lungs and digestive system. It causes the body to develop thick, sticky mucus which leads to frequent lung infections and scars the lung tissue over time. Within the digestive system, mucus clogs the pancreatic ducts which inhibits our body to release it's natural enzymes to aid in digestion. Therefore, most of us suffer from malabsorption, poor weight gain and poor growth. The life expectancy of someone living with CF is near 40 years of age. CF affects nearly 70,000 people worldwide. Out of the 70,000 people, only 5% are 40 or older today. Most sufferers of this illness don't live to see their 20's or 30's.
In order for myself and all others to stay as healthy as we can, we are required to do an array of treatments on a daily basis. I personally do 3 breathing treatments daily which take 30 minutes each session. I also do a few different nebulizers throughout the day. In total, my day consists of 1.5-2 hours of breathing treatments daily. Not to mention, I also take 50+ pills on a daily basis. And of course, exercise is a MUST when living with CF to help clear the mucus from the lungs.
Over the years I've had my ups and downs. I've been in and out of the hospital. I've been extremely sick at times. I've also lost many people I know to CF. My parents were told I'd be lucky to see 18, but I'm still here and I'm still fighting. So, it's a serious, life-threatening and scary illness to live with.
CF gets no government funding. All the new treatments that we gain access to come from fundraising. That is part of the reason why I'm still here today. Over the years, lots of money has been donated to the CF Foundation, which, has helped scientists to develop life prolonging medications. If it wasn't for donations and people spreading awareness about this disease we wouldn't be where we are today. CF has come a long way since I was born. My goal is to continue that trend and help us find a CURE.
If you recall, last summer I ran 266 miles in 7 days (42 miles per day) to raise money and awareness for CF. I ended up raising $65,000 from that event which went towards developing better treatments. It was one of the most successful events within the CF community that didn't include sponsored donations. The majority of the donations came from people all over the United States whom wanted to donate to the cause.
Because that event was so successful and it raised a ton of awareness, I thought, why not go BIGGER. The CRAZIER the event, the more awareness and donations I can raise. So, this year I decided to really test my limits and run 300 miles in 72 hours. It's a longer run and in a shorter time frame. I'm a GO BIG or GO HOME type of guy. I love a good challenge. While my lungs are still healthy I might as well keep pushing them to the test. This won't only be physically draining, but mentally exhausting as well. I will need all the support I can get.
This event will take place from June 9th - 11th, 2021 in Ellicottville, NY. I will be running a 4-mile loop with the goal of hitting 100 miles each day. Of course, I will have my rest time as well. I'm doing this for all of us who suffer from this terrible disease. I'm doing this to help set up the younger generation with the best medications possible. I'm doing this so the ones born today won't have to worry about dying young. I'm doing this to FIND A CURE. I'm doing this to show anyone who may be struggling (physically and mentally) that you can get through whatever obstacles you may face.
This fun and exciting event will help raise funds to support my CF Foundation special event fundraising efforts, and help the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation forward their mission to find a cure for all people with cystic fibrosis.
The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation has fueled dramatic improvements in cystic fibrosis research and care. Because of the Foundation, people with CF are living longer and healthier lives. The outlook for people with CF continues to improve year after year.
Thank you in advance for your support and participation to this event, you are helping to make a difference for people living with CF.