Cystic Fibrosis walk a success in Swift Current

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More than 80 walkers turned up on Sunday for the annual Cystic Fibrosis Walk in Swift Current, raising $23,969.50 for the fight against Cystic Fibrosis.

It was a successful outing for more than 80 walkers who turned up on Sunday for the annual Cystic Fibrosis Walk in Swift Current.

In total the group raised $23,969.50 from the seven kilometre walk, a total which had organizers pleased.

“I was pretty pleased with the amount of people that came in, and the money raised,” organizer Ben Laviolette said. “We may get a few more dollars after that… but I’m happy with all the work that people have done for the event.”

Laviolette is a member of the Swift Current Kinsmen, who along with the Kinettes, organizes the walk and barbeque. They’ve been doing it since 1989, when the original organizers, retail outlet Zellers, left town.

Since then the event has attracted between 80 and 90 walkers annually, with number peaking at 110 a few years ago.

Many of the walkers have friends or loved ones who suffer from the disease. Kevin Krahn has been walking in the fundraiser since the ’80s in support of his son, a CF patient.

“It’s just awesome to see the support from a lot of family and friends, and a lot of his friends, who keep coming year after year,” Krahn said. “It’s pretty cool.”

There were three people walking in the fundraiser who suffer from CF themselves. One of them, 22-year-old Wyatt Brown, said he feels great just seeing the support from other people.

“They seem to come out in full force every year,” he said. “It’s a good turnout.”

Cystic Fibrosis Canada estimates that the disease affects one in every 3,600 children born in Canada. Damage to the lungs and digestive system are CF’s most common symptoms, including things like persistent coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath and chest infection.

Eventually the lungs will deteriorate to the point where they shutdown, causing death. At this point there is no known cure.

“He seemed to sail through life,” Wyatt’s mother and fellow walker Lana said. “He did everything normally, did sports, did everything, so we were very blessed that way, but it’s always in the back of your mind of course, that you just never know what can happen the next day.”

On this day however, everyone was satisfied. Barbequed hot dogs and hamburgers greeted the walkers on their arrival at the finish live, and when combined with the fundraising totals, it made for a good day.

“It feels nice knowing that we do have the support from everybody,” Wyatt said. “It’s not going to waste. Every year they’re coming out and showing their support for us. It’s a good feeling.”

The Swift Current Cystic Fibrosis walk is one of more than 70 held around the country each year. Last year the walks raised a combined total of $3.2 million.

Organizations: Kinsmen and Kinettes

Geographic location: Swift Current, Canada

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