We Can, Right? – Guest blog from USACFA Fall 2017 Scholarship Winner

By: Jacob Greene

Cystic Fibrosis is an awkward disease. Whether it’s coughing attacks in the middle of tests, the infamous CF digestive issues (for professionalism’s sake I will leave it at that, but you know what I mean), or loud treatments in the morning and at night, there are many awkward aspects to cystic fibrosis. CF’s median life expectancy is no different. Continue reading We Can, Right? – Guest blog from USACFA Fall 2017 Scholarship Winner

Pushing the envelope promising for patients

http://www.theherald.com.au/story/4762046/pushing-the-envelope-promising-for-patients/

A HUNTER-based fitness study looking at the effects of interval training on children with cystic fibrosis is achieving some “outstanding” results, a local exercise physiologist says. Continue reading Pushing the envelope promising for patients

NEW Cystic Fibrosis Step-by-Step Video Series Launches Today!

Cystic Fibrosis Step-by-Step: What is Cystic Fibrosis?

The Cystic Fibrosis Step-by-Step video podcast series was created by the Boomer Esiason Foundation to help CF patients and families develop routines and guidelines to help them succeed and to answer basic questions that arise regularly.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=__m7G9KEsL8&feature=youtu.be
Continue reading NEW Cystic Fibrosis Step-by-Step Video Series Launches Today!

The Women’s March on Washington

I was there.  Yes, I went.  I participated in the largest protest in the country.  And it was AMAZING!

We like to avoid politics here at CFR so I will not voice any of the reasons I went.  What I do want to do is talk about my experience as a person with CF.

Continue reading The Women’s March on Washington

Urgent call to action for future healthcare

From Sue Landgraf, Exectuive Director of CFRI

Urgent Call to Action! Congress is beginning to discuss proposals for future healthcare legislation. Proposals thus far do not include many of the protections that are contained within the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which would be catastrophic for many members of the cystic fibrosis Continue reading Urgent call to action for future healthcare

Boomer Esiason Foundation’s Cystic Fibrosis Ambassador, Jerry Cahill, to Ride in 3rd Annual Bike to Breathe Event

The West Coast Bike Ride Aims to Raise Awareness for Cystic Fibrosis
and Promote the Importance of Exercise

New York and San Francisco, September 19, 2016 – The Boomer Esiason Foundation (BEF) today announced that its cystic fibrosis (CF) ambassador, Jerry Cahill, and Emily Schaller, a CF patient who started cycling, running and Continue reading Boomer Esiason Foundation’s Cystic Fibrosis Ambassador, Jerry Cahill, to Ride in 3rd Annual Bike to Breathe Event

Top 10 Lessons On Running A Disruptive Foundation — Guest Blog By Emily Kramer-Golinkoff

Originally posted on Emily’s Entourage, on July 21, 2016
http://www.emilysentourage.org/top-10-lessons-on-running-a-disruptive-foundation/

Today’s guest blog post was written by Emily and adapted from a speech delivered at the Global Genes and Penn Orphan Disease Center’s Rare Patient Advocacy Symposium.

Like so many of you, I’ve been thrust into this role of disruptor out of desperation.

I’m learning on the job every moment of everyday. It’s a 24/7 job. It is painstaking, relentless work; there are no breaks; and then there’s this fatal disease to manage on top of it.

It’s a crazy, dizzying reality.

And so while I’m certainly no expert, I’d like to share with you a few things I’ve picked up along the way.

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#1: Stories are powerful.

You don’t realize the power of your story until you start telling it. It might be uncomfortable, but it’s a means to an end, and nothing touches people’s hearts like stories. It’s that thread of humanity that binds us together, and it’s pretty spectacular to see how much people connect and care.

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#2: It’s all about relationships.

Everything that has happened for EE, every major development, every pivotal connection, every advance in research, it’s all been because of relationships. When the test tube says Emily and not some random digital code, it matters.

So go to the labs, talk to the scientists, SHOW UP. Make it painfully personal. There’s nothing in the world more motivating.

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#3: Nobody can be a better or more tireless advocate than you.

I’m participating in a study where I’m be the first and only person in the world to try the therapy. The idea? It came from me and my mom. We have no scientific background, just a huge vested interest in the outcome, some creativity, and logic.

Of course we vetted it with tons of scientists and did all of our homework, but the original idea was all ours — ordinary, everyday Emily and Liza’s. Don’t underestimate your voice, your brain, your creativity, and your ideas.

#4: Be relentless.

When there’s a roadblock, find a creative way around and keep at it. Push and push and push and don’t accept no for an answer if you believe in what you’re fighting for.

#5: People really care, but you have to ask for them to step up and help.

If you don’t ask, the answer is always no. I’m naturally a very private person, a total introvert who hates asking for things. The only thing that has kept me sharing such personal details of my life and medical journey is the outpouring of love and support that results–and seeing how people rise.

After our inaugural event in NYC, I can’t tell you how many people came up to me and THANKED ME for the opportunity to get involved.

People want to be part of something bigger. They want to do good things. They want to make impact. It’s up to us to give them the opportunities. And it takes guts.

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#6: You need a scientist champion and a respected Scientific Advisory Board.

When we first started making phone calls to labs and biotechs, people wouldn’t even answer the phone (or they promptly hung up!).

A scientist champion is your key into the scientific world and a respected Scientific Advisory Board is essential for vetting research projects and securing major gifts and grants. People need to know their money is going to reputable work.

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#7: Build a nest of trusted advisors.

It truly takes a village.

We were thrust into this role of running a foundation. We still have no idea what we’re doing, we just know what we want and that we are willing to do whatever it takes to get there.

By building a nest of advisors, we draw on the expertise of so many different, brilliant people and pull them onboard.

We’ve had the privilege of meeting some of the most remarkable individuals. We call them our guardian angels and our progress is a testament to — and totally dependent on — them

#8: Don’t underestimate the value of YOUR creativity and ideas.

Sometimes the greatest innovation comes from outside of the biomedical institution.

Nobody has a bigger vested interest in your future. Desperation spurs creativity and innovation. You don’t need a PhD to have great ideas. Believe in them and tenaciously pursue them.

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#9: Digital technology is your best friend.

Technology is democratizing; content is king. Use technology to spread your content far and wide. The world is at your fingertips and they’re eager to hear your story. Make it concise. Make it compelling. Make it easily sharable.

#10: Know what you want.

You need a clearly defined research goal to raise money and effectively mobilize a community. Do your homework, identify the leading researchers, labs, biotechs, pharma and all the key stakeholders, and bring them together. It’s essential to draw on their expertise to clearly articulate your research strategy.

People want to fund good work, but they need to know the targets. And so do you! Otherwise, your wheels will be spinning, and let’s be honest, we don’t have time or energy to waste.

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Emily’s Entourage is a work in progress. We are learning as we go. We constantly have to realign, refocus on our end goal, and troubleshoot — and it is HARD.

I think about EE every second of the day, with every breath I take. Literally.

What’s next? How do we grow? How do we make the research go faster? How do we add more revenue streams? How do we make the organization sustainable? How do I balance running EE and managing my health?

So many questions. So much to do. So little time — with a disease that rages on and robs me of my life, my energy, my breath.

I feel the crunch of time, the terror of disease progression, ALL the time. And that is the propeller.

At Emily’s Entourage, we pledge to keep at this, with this same vigor until there is a cure for EVERYONE with CF. And then, we pledge to take these lessons learned and apply them to another disease, to help another disease community get to the finish line. That is our greatest wish. That would be our dream come true.

Continue reading Top 10 Lessons On Running A Disruptive Foundation — Guest Blog By Emily Kramer-Golinkoff

Making it Matter Episode 5 – How We Stay Motivated

In episode 5 of the Making it Matter podcast series, Julia and I discuss our strategies for staying motivated through the good days and bad. I think it’s important to stress for as much as CF may be similar across the entire patient Continue reading Making it Matter Episode 5 – How We Stay Motivated

CF Podcast 160: Jump the Fear of CF with Callie Deanda

Listen to the podcast here.

About Callie Deanda:
• 20 years old with CF, athletic, attending college, and from Tennesse
• Hobbies include soccer (plays on varsity team), hiking, cross-stitching
• Watching Buffy & Vampire Slayer with friends, and Callie is a huge Sporting Continue reading CF Podcast 160: Jump the Fear of CF with Callie Deanda