Greensboro, N.C. -- The Hanson family has crossed the Greensboro/High Point Great Strides Walk together since their 3-year-old daughter Annabelle could walk.
They know it will take the entire family and people like you who can help little Annabelle get better. The bright-eyed, happy child has Cystic Fibrosis. There is no cure, there is no remission, but there is hope.
Mark Hanson, Annabelle's father explained what CF is and how it effects his daughter.
"It's a genetic disease that impacts her lungs and digestive system," said Hanson. "Her body creates a thick and sticky mucus that keeps her from properly digesting foods. It also makes her lungs susceptible to infections which over time will lead to damage which can eventually destroy her lungs."
You can live with CF and over the years the median life-expectancy has gone up.
"Just a few decades ago you were lucky to live past your teenage years. Now when you're born, the life expectancy is 37-years-old," said Hanson. "But I'll tell you as I approach that age I feel like I have some work left to do on this planet and I want better for my daughter."
Annabelle's mother described her daily treatments that begin every morning with a nebulizing medicine and a vest that shakes her.
"It shakes the mucus loose to help her breathe better," said Jessica Hanson. "Before every meal she has to take 6 different pills. She takes 20 pills total everyday before bed. Then she gets another vest treatment and that's on a healthy day. When she's on a sick day, everything is pretty much doubled."
The Hanson family is determined to help raise money and awareness to get get better medical treatments. "Hopefully we can cure this disease so she doesn't have to face those kinds of things down the road and she can live a very happy and healthy life," said Hanson. "We'll do whatever we have to do to keep her healthy and to keep her thriving."
The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation needs you because it does not receive federal funding.
You can help by making a donation to www.cff.org or call 1-800-FIGHT-CF. You can also participate in one of the Great Strides Walks in the Triad.
The Greensboro/High Point walk is scheduled for Saturday, May 3. 2014 and May 10. 2014 in Winston-Salem at BB&T Ballpark.
To participate visit www.greatstridesnc.org. More than 90% of the money raised goes directly to research and patient care.