PORTSMOUTH, Ohio — The month of May is Cystic Fibrosis Month and with it is the annual Great Strides Walk in Portsmouth which convened Saturday, May 14, with the kick off in Tracy Park.
Amanda and Todd Lockyer are committed to raising both funds and awareness about the disease on the local level.
“This is called the Great Strides 5k for Cystic Fibrosis. May is Cystic Fibrosis Month and we walk all-around the country with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation,” Amanda Lockyer said. “This year we are trying to do something more like Cincinnati that we have never gotten to do. We have a committee that has come together, people from the community. We have an actual 5K, it’s 2.1 miles down along the river.”
It has been three years since their son Haddon was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis, according to Todd Lockyer.
“Three years ago we found that our oldest son Haddon has Cystic Fibrosis and that was totally new to us,” Todd Lockyer said. “Folks started getting us in contact with organizations and people, then we found out that there was a walk right here in the community and have been involved ever since.”
He said they have received an incredible amount of support. On their son Haddon’s Facebook page, $1,000 was donated. Additionally, the assistant principle of Haddon’s school, which is McKell Elementary in South Shore, Kentucky, along with two Girls Scout Troops from the school came out to the event to show their support.
“There are 12 people from the community that have Cystic Fibrosis. They are the ones here in the purple T-shirts. Cystic Fibrosis is a degenerative lung disease with a life span that used to be 25 years of age, now it is getting to be age 40,” Amanda Lockyer said. “Two years ago here, we had a man that had a lung transplant and he will be here today with his team, which is amazing. With Cystic Fibrosis you are 99 percent infertile but we have a man that was is here with his wife and their set of twins because of modern technology and that is amazing. They were just featured in a magazine.”
Life Ambulance was present at the event and attendees enjoyed Bratwursts, hot dogs and other food items that were donated.
Participants also had the opportunity to take pictures in front of the inflated lungs. Beads were made available to participants to represent who you participants are walking for.
Amanda Lockyer said they had great success with this year’s Great Strides Walk and exceeded the 2015 goal.
“We met our goal this year for fundraising and beat last year. Last year we raised $13,000 for cystic fibrosis research and this year it is over $14,500,” Amanda Lockyer said.
Reach Portia Williams at 740-353-3101, ext. 1929, or on Twitter @PortiaWillPDT.