Friday, April 30, 2010

Warrior Kathryn

I have known Kathryn since I was 15. She is probably the smartest person you will ever meet. I think she knows five languages, maybe more...including Russian. She is a grammar expert. She also has Type 1 diabetes for almost 29 years. Recently she was diagnosed with Gastroparesis. Basically, her stomach is paralyzed. As a result she is on a liquid only diet. It is hard enough balancing nutrition with diabetes, but think of how hard it must be to only consume liquids.

This has not stopped Kathryn. She continues to ride her bike in support of charitable causes including Team in Training and the American Diabetes Association. On Sunday Kathryn has a goal to ride 100 miles for Tour de Cure on Team Red. She is only $25.00 away from her goal. We are all proud of Kathryn. No matter what obstacles she may face, she has never let that stop her from doing the things that are important to her. GO KATHRYN!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Warrior Series

I am finding that there are lots of strong warriors out there raising funds for some great charities. In addition to all the CFers I have met participating in Great Strides, people are out there balancing health conditions and staying committed to promoting their cause. I am going to start a series of blogs of all the warriors in our community living to make a difference.

The first warrior is a co-workers mom, Gail. She suffers from Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and recently participated in a walk to raise funds for MS. MS is a disease that affects the central nervous system and cause problems with muscle control, strength, balance, feeling, vision, and thinking. I know her daughter, Mona, is very proud that she is able to participate in the walk and help make a difference to raise funds and awareness of this disease. Some may look at having this disease as an excuse not to walk; some physically can't. Gail doesn't let that stop her. As with all people with some type of disability, her journey should really inspire those without limitations. So many healthy people out there make excuses everyday to not exercise. Its great to see some people don't let anything stop them from living.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Sharps Disposal

About a year ago I started using the injectable form of TOBI to mix in my nasal rinses. Along with this, I have to use a syringe to decant the medication from the bottle (it looks just like a bottle of insulin...the only way to get the medication out is with a syringe). Even though I don't ever poke the skin with the needle, I still have to collect the sharps in a biohazard container and route them for proper disposal.

After a little research, I found no one wanted to take these containers. The pharmacy, doctor office, and local drug stores no longer accept sharps for disposal. So, finding someone to take these was becoming a hassle. I finally found one local pharmacy that would take these containers. I put off going because I figured there would be a huge hassle associated with trying to have them take it. I figured if no one else wanted to accept them, it must be because there is some type of complicated procedure.

I found the opposite. They took the containers, no questions asked. There wasn't even a fee. What I can figure out is why no one else will take sharp containers, and yet this store is doing it for free. Doesn't make sense, but at least I know I have a place to take the containers.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Rubio's FUNd-raiser

Last Thursday (April 22), Ethan and I hosted a fund-raiser at Rubio's Mexican Grill at our local mall. The event was a "dine and donate" function in which Rubio's donated 20% of all transactions that evening to my walk. Well, 20% of transaction where people turned in the designated flyer. It was a great success. Our group spent around $500.00, so Rubio's will be donating about $100.00 to my walk.

I really didn't know what to expect...would we have a good turn out? How much money would people spend? But we had lots of friends really pull through for this one. The group was mostly made up of my co-workers and Ethan's co-workers. Ethan's Aunt Norma also came with a group of her friends. My friend's mom and her boyfriend also stopped by. I learned that Tim (boyfriend) has a brother who lost his battle with CF when he was 36. It was interesting to learn the connection this family has to CF, but I think it also was a good reminder why we raise funds for this disease.

The best part was just hanging out with people we care about. We had a lot of fun and I hope to make this an annual event!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

CF in the work place

When I signed up for the Great Strides walk, I knew an easy crowd to target for donations would be my co-workers. I have worked at the same job for over ten years now and they are generally all a very supportive group, especially with fund raisers. The only thing...only two people in my office (out of 80) know that I have CF. Its hard to gain full support, when people don't really know what they are supporting. I decided it was time to share my story with the office.

Its actually a difficult task. How would I go about doing this? Massive e-mail? Announcement at a staff meeting? Go cubical to cubical? Nothing really seemed to make sense. It was important for me to be tactful and professional. I wanted to spread the word around, but I also didn't want to shove my private life onto people in the work place. So I came up with the idea of word of mouth. I started with sending an e-mail to a group of co-workers who I would also consider to be friends. I asked them to participate in a fund raiser I am hosting at a local restaurant with the hopes that we could all have dinner together. I sent around information on CF and some information about my life with CF.

The response was pretty neutral...some people had questions, but not many. I think mainly people have been respectful of my privacy with discussing my medical history in the work place. I am ok with talking about it, but it is nice to know people are really being calm about it. I didn't know what to expect, really.

My goal is to slowly introduce CF into the work place. I just want to raise awareness about CF, to provide meaning to people as to why I am asking for their support. In addition to my own fund raising, our office often sponsors charities in the community. I have asked for the office to sponsor the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. We hold bake sales, BBQs, etc to raise funds. I am excited to have their support with this.

Monday, April 5, 2010

WonderCon Recap

Over Easter weekend, I unleased my geeky side at WonderCon San Francisco. We had a great time at the Con, visiting with friends, exploring the convention, and spending a fun weekend in San Francisco. Here is a recap:

April 2-4
San Francisco
Union Square
Dinner with Ethan's internet friends
Drinks at Kate O'Brien's
Dressing up as Snow White
Disney Panel
Price of Persia with Jake Gyllenhaal
The Sorcerer's Apprentice with Nicolas Cage
Toy Story 3 with John Ratzenberger
Free loot from DC
Free t-shirts from WB
Meet up with Jill
Drinks and dinner with Sean
Emily the Strange panel
Lockjaw sketch from Super Ugly

Lock Jaw!

Colleen the Strange

Star Wars!

Snow White in the House!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Science Fair

About a week ago I was a judge in a local science fair. This was my fourth year being a judge. This fair is huge, as the community tries hard every year to promote science in schools and the community. There are hundreds of projects and about 80 judges. This year I judged 3rd grade life science. There were a total of 9 projects. The first place prize was awarded to a project trying to answer the question "Can people tell the difference is cookies are made with sweetener vs regular sugar?" One project was the classic growing mold. The display included the moldy food, which the other judge and I started to have reactions to: me coughing and she was getting a rash on her neck. Sick!