I hope to meet my cousin Elisa for the first time next month. She’s three years old and lives with her parents and big brother Mateo in the northwest of America.
Elisa’s Mom is my cousin too. She’s the daughter of my mom’s brother, my uncle Pat. So if I understand the conventions correctly, Elisa’s mom is my first cousin, and Elisa and her brother are my second cousins. Do I have that right?
Elisa birthday is Feb. 10, so we share a birthday. Her brother Mateo, who is six years old, was born on Feb. 11, and he shares his birthday with his great-grandma (my grandma or “Nana”) Judy.
Because of the way life works, I’ve never met Elisa or Mateo or their dad (would he also be my first cousin? First cousin-in-law?). I’ve only rarely met Elisa’s mom and that was many years ago.
Anyway, I’m going to change that never-met status and improve the frequency of the rarely-met status.
Mom and I will travel to the Pacific Northwest in June. Specifically, we will visit Oregon on June 3 for a very specific purpose.
We will walk in the 2017 Salem Great Strides Cystic Fibrosis Foundation 5K walk to help raise awareness of and research money for CF.
Because Elisa has Cystic Fibrosis.
I’m a registered walker in the event. Now just in case you might be interested in throwing a little bit of money into the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation pot, you can sponsor me for the walk. Just go to the Great Strides Cystic Fibrosis Foundation web page. Click on the “find a walk/team” button. Scroll down and you’ll see “find a walk” and “find a team.” Under “find a team” type in “Team Elisa” and click search.
The result will show Team Elisa as the team name, Erin Puga as team leader, and Salem 2017 as the walk site. Click on the blue Team Elisa, scroll down to the roster and find Shaun Evertson. Click on the donate button and chip in.
Another option would be to join us on June 3 – you can be a virtual walker and not have to travel – and find people to sponsor you. You can figure out how to do that at the same web site. Or you can find a local walk to join. Or you can also just donate to the foundation. It all goes to the same great cause.
It wasn’t many years ago when those afflicted with cystic fibrosis could expect to live only a few short years. Thanks to advances made in treating the disease, life expectancy has increased greatly, and a cure for the disease might be just over the horizon. This is due in large part to the efforts of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and to the donations of people from all across the nation and around the globe.
Many people think of cystic fibrosis as a lung disease, and it is, but it also affects other organs including the digestive system. Elisa has to take medicine, do breathing treatments, and wear a percussion vest every few hours to help clear her lungs. She also has to take about 25 pills and several liquid medicines every day so that she can digest her food.
After mom and I make acquaintances and re-acquaintances, we’ll drive down the coast and visit family north of Los Angeles and in San Diego. I’m eagerly looking forward to visiting family, stomping my old Navy stomping grounds, touring USS Midway, and visiting restaurants and museums.
But most of all I’m looking forward to meeting my little cousins and doing just a little bit to help to help out.