What can I say about Cystic Fibrosis? First of all, I hate it. Hate isn't even strong enough a word. It is an insidious disease that claims innocent lives every year. I first learned about it when, after being pregnant with our first children and delivering them 3 weeks apart, my dear friend Elicia's son Carson was diagnosed at one month old. I was scared, I hurt for her, I was scared for her baby... I still am scared for him AND his brother Brandon, who also has C.F. Elicia and her husband Travis' families immediately came together and began raising money to find a cure. I often think that if C.F. HAD to pick a family to mess with, it made a big mistake picking Travis and Elicia's family. If anybody can make a difference, it is them. Elicia's stepfather Wes, a retired firefighter founded, organized, and put on this stairclimb challenge. An amazing amount of effort went into this. Need more proof that Cystic Fibrosis is evil? While becoming involved in the C.F. community, my friend Elicia has met many wonderful people including her friend Sarah. Well, this past June Sarah's 7 year old son Conner died from Cystic Fibrosis. This year's climb was dedicated to his memory... and if you follow my blog you may have noticed that a percentage of all of my photography sessions are being donated to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation in his name.
This year I was stationed at a landing on the 40th floor of the stairwell in an effort to capture every climber reaching the top. Some struggled, some ran up with ease, some were red faced with oxygen tanks alarming but still gave me a thumbs up on their way by and ALL of them made me proud. Proud of what humans can do for one another, proud of their strength and determination, and proud that I could be there to capture it with my camera.
This is a very loooong blog post, and much wordier than my usual sneak peeks. If you would like to read more about the stairclimb and Cystic Fibrosis, here is a link: http://www.portlandonline.com/fire/index.cfm?a=319451&c=50972 . Please share this blog on facebook, with your friends, family, coworkers etc in hopes of getting the word out and gaining more support for finding a cure. If you would like a CD with copies of all of the photos taken at the climb (every firefighter who climbed is on there!) select the Paypal link on the right and choose the CD option. I will start mailing out copies by the end of this week.
Special thanks to Amy Karki Photography for helping to shoot pictures at the climb today!