Cystic fibrosis is a progressive, genetic disease that causes persistent lung infections and limits the ability to breathe over time. On Saturday, led by Samantha Jameson, people from all over the area walked to raise money for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
“This is about educating our community,” Victoria Molin, development manager for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation said. “It’s about supporting people with CF because it’s a rare disease.”
People began to congregate in Tracy Park in Portsmouth, many with T-shirts with the names of the teams they are part of.
“It’s nice that we can get together and we can support each other,” Molin said. “It’s also about raising money to fund the research to help cure.”
Molin said, because CF is a rare disease, most medical research companies are not going to risk putting money into it.
“That’s what the foundation does,” Molin said. “That money goes to research, and we’ve actually come out with a lot of new drugs and treatments that are helping extend the life and the quality of life for people living with CF.”
A group of participants in purple shirts were at the walk in support of a 14-year-old girl. One of those was her mother, Lisa Helphenstine.
“It’s for my daughter Megan,” Helphenstine said. “It’s family and friends that have come together for today.”
Two years post double lung transplant, Samantha Jameson, a vibrant, intelligent young woman, was definitely the face of the foundation locally. Samantha has had CF since she was 4, and her surgery was eight hours long, and, believe it or not, she considered the dates (April 15/16) very special to her.
“It finished on my husband’s (Ty Jameson) birthday,” Jameson said. “So we get to celebrate a whole weekend of life together.”
On Saturday, no one knew the mission better than Samantha.
“This walk is to help raise money for research to help find a cure for Cystic Fibrosis, which is a genetic disease that effects mainly the lungs, but also the pancreas and other organs of the body,” Jameson said.
Jameson said everything raised at the walk goes directly to the CF Foundation.
“It is a completely non-profit organizations,” Jameson said. “Every 93 cents of the dollar goes directly to research.”
Minutes later, Samantha and Ty with puppies in tow….or maybe it was the other way around…enthusiastic participants left on the walk that, at one point, passed the Portsmouth Floodwall Murals. At least one person was looking forward to the Portsmouth tourist attraction.
“I have heard so much about them, I can’t wait to see them,” Molin, a Cincinnati resident, said.
Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewisPDT.