Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a fatal genetic disease that afflicts 30,000 adults and children in the United States and 70,000 people worldwide. It causes debilitating lung infections that lead to premature death.
Great Strides is the CF Foundation’s largest national fundraising event and provides an opportunity for the Tyler community to get involved by forming teams through their workplace, clubs, organizations, or with friends and family. The Great Strides walk day, to be held on Saturday, September 29, at 8:00 a.m. at Bergfeld Park, is a fun, family-oriented celebration that includes a healthy walk, Kids’ Corner activities, food, and festivities. Proceeds from this event support the development of new drugs to fight CF, improve the quality of life for those with the disease, and ultimately to find a cure.
As co-chairs for Great Strides for the Northeast Texas Chapter of the CF Foundation Tyler Branch, Whitney Ann Parrish and Ashley Mizer Morris, encourage the community to join the fun on walk day and learn more about CF.
“My ten-year-old sister, Maci, was diagnosed with CF when she was two,” Ms. Parrish said. “She fights the disease every day to stay alive, and through Great Strides, I can support her battle by raising awareness and taking steps toward finding a cure.”
Ms. Parrish began volunteering with the CF Foundation while a sophomore at Robert E. Lee High School. Because the cause is so dear to her heart, many of Ms. Parrish’s friends have also volunteered alongside her, raising awareness of CF among the young people of our community.
Ms. Parrish was born in Lawton, Oklahoma, and has resided in Tyler for nine years. She is a student at Tyler Junior College and a member of Colonial Hills Baptist Church
Mrs. Morris is a board member for the CF Northeast Texas Chapter – Tyler Branch. She served as the gaming tent co-chair for this year’s Cattle Barons’ Gala and has volunteered with the Texas Rose Festival.
Born in Galveston, Texas, Mrs. Morris has resided in Tyler for six years. She is a graduate of Robert E. Lee High School and earned her bachelor’s degree from St. Edwards University in Austin, Texas. She and her husband, Justin, have been married four years, and have one son, Hyde, 23 months. Mr. and Mrs. Morris are members of Marvin United Methodist Church.
“Great Strides is a wonderful way for families to enjoy a fun day together while learning more about CF,” Mrs. Morris said. “The community’s support has been overwhelming, and the entire event is going to be great!”
For more information about Great Strides, please visit www.cff.org or call 903-894-6676.