Great Strides walk is this weekend

Jon Gulliver, Special to The County
12 years ago

   PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — Kelly Lamoreau of Castle Hill and her family will be taking an important stroll this coming Sunday, hopefully with many others, to raise money and awareness about cystic fibrosis.

Great Strides: Taking Steps to Cure Cystic Fibrosis is the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s largest national fundraising event. Walks are being held across the country and one is taking place in Presque Isle at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday, May 20 at Riverside Park in Presque Isle.

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; and obstructs the pancreas and stops natural enzymes from helping the body break down and absorb food.

Lamoreau has a personal reason for wanting to take part. Her two-year-old son Tucker has cystic fibrosis and even though the family and Tucker are managing CF right now, a cure is the ultimate goal.

“They have medicine coming out, which could be a huge game changer, like insulin for diabetics,” said Lamoreau. “They are in phase two of the clinical trial and this is where the money raised is going, so I think people need to know where it is going. I am very hopeful.”

Care for a CF patient is intense. Tucker takes more than 20 pills a day to help digest his food. He wears a special vest twice a day for at least 10 minutes at a time to break up the mucus in his lungs, has daily nebulizer treatments and goes to a specialist in Bangor every three months.

Also walking in Team Tucker on Sunday will be Tucker’s big brother Jack. Lamoreau said the five-year-old is very protective of his brother.

Last year about 65 walkers took part in the Presque Isle Great Strides event, raising roughly $8,000.

For more information on the walk check out www.cff.org or email Lamoreau at kelly.lamoreau@yahoo.com.