Congratulations to Seton Swimming for completing our 4th Annual Cystic Fibrosis “Splash for CF” Swim-a-thon.  As a team, we raised over $2,600 and had 34 swimmers complete at least 200 lengths of the pool – that’s 5,000 yards or nearly 3 miles!   Today’s swim was truly a great accomplishment for many of these swimmers, particularly some of the younger 7th graders.

Thank you to the Given family for their great job in organizing the event!  And a big thank you to the good folks at the Central Park Aquatic Facility for donating the pool time and lifeguards for the event.

Right before the event, Mrs. Given gave us a great talk on why were we were all there.  The money we raised went directly to families fighting this disease.  Cystic fibrosis is an inherited chronic disease that affects the lungs and digestive system of about 30,000 children and adults in the United States (70,000 worldwide). A defective gene and its protein product cause the body to produce unusually thick, sticky mucus that clogs the lungs and leads to life-threatening lung infections.  I can also obstruct the pancreas and stops natural enzymes from helping the body break down and absorb food.

In the 1950s, few children with cystic fibrosis lived to attend elementary school. Today, advances in research and medical treatments have further enhanced and extended life for children and adults with CF. Many people with the disease can now expect to live into their 30s, 40s and beyond.

There are a number of families close to the Seton community affected by Cystic Fibrosis and all of the life limiting challenges it imposes including the Given’s, the Kohlhaas’ and the Manley’s.   The wonderful news is that scientists are closer than ever to a CURE.  The scientists we are supporting at the CF Foundation and Johns Hopkins University are studying new medications right now that hold the promise for a normal life for those who struggle with Cystic Fibrosis.

In January of 2012 the CF Foundation announced its new medication, Kalydeco, which essentially cures one mutation of the disease.  This medication works effectively in 4% of the CF population, but we can help the other 96% who hope and pray that the cure is found for them.   The latest drug in the pipeline now is Vertex 809 which, if it works, will cure the most common mutation and impact the lives of the greatest number of people affected by Cystic Fibrosis.

Here’s part of a note that Mrs. Given posted on Facebook:

I would like to express a heartfelt thank you to all who donated to today’s Splash for CF. We have raised nearly $2500 for patients with Cystic Fibrosis. The majority of those proceeds will benefit the patients at Johns Hopkins cystic fibrosis center. The top notch team at Hopkins has been caring for our 3 daughters for more than 15 years. Newly diagnosed patients come to them frequently. They are scared, overwhelmed, and worried just like we were. This money helps give them the resources to get those patients off to a healthy, strong start.

I’m very proud of what we accomplished today.  Not only did we do some small part to help find a cure for Cystic Fibrosis, many of us learned a valuable life lesson that we are capable of so much more than we think we are.

Great job Seton Swimming!

Coach Jim Koehr

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