It takes a little while for me to be re motivated to raise money for CF. But with February almost half-way over I am slow to come out of fund raising hibernation which takes place each year from the finishing up of our kickball tournament to anywhere between February and March.
I have the next few weekends pretty free so I decided to make a big hit on my to-do list and accomplish our friend and family campaign letter for 2011. Keep a look out for a new montage :)
Dear Family & Friends-
Here we are! We are blessed to be able to share another great year with you! Cayden and Trinity had a very healthy year. Just a minor pseudomonas culture for Trinity and MRSA for Cayden, but NO hospital stays. It was Trinity’s first experience with the nebulizer drug TOBI. Trinity also blew out 2 candles on her birthday cake making her eligible for a vest. We can’t even begin to think about what life was like without it! Trinity finished a study just a month ago for safety of hypertonic saline in infants. We learned that studies with kiddos can be extremely difficult, long (48 weeks) and not to mention time-consuming. But we know it was also very worthwhile in advancing treatments for CF! Cayden started kindergarten in the fall…we can hardly believe it. We again met with his teachers to talk “CF” and they have adjusted very well to having him in class and giving him enzymes each day. We are blessed by our school family’s unbelievable support! Colin started PreK 3 and started new adventures of his own. It has been an awesome opportunity for him to break out of his shell and spread his wings apart from his big brother.
And now we come to April 26th. Cooper Joseph was welcomed into our family at a healthy 9 lbs 3 oz. It was a great day! And then on April 28th just hours from leaving the hospital to return to our anxious children our entire world would change again. Forever. He had meconium illeus (a blocked stool) which made him unable to have a bowel movement. And since it happens in 30% of CF births the doctors were certain, given our genetic background, that he also would be diagnosed with CF. After 7 long days in the NICU he was able to pass the bowel on his own without surgery, something we would later find out to be very rare among CF patients. Then at six weeks I noticed Cooper having difficulty breathing and a wheezy sound coming from his chest. After he started throwing up and not wanting to eat I took him to the ER at the UW-Children’s Hospital in Madison where he was admitted for low blood oxygen levels. After maintaining near 100% for 2 days and no sign of pneumonia we returned home and continued enjoying the holiday weekend. After days of frustration had not getting him to eat and once again spitting up every ounce he ate we took him back to the ER on Memorial Day. This time the x-ray showed pneumonia in his right lower lobe. He would be hospitalized for ten days. As we prepared to take him home we couldn’t help but be overwhelmed by dozens of medications, clinic appointments, hours of chest therapy and nebulizer treatments that awaited us.
We never thought we would be asked to care for 4 children-3 of which have cystic fibrosis, but we are learning every day how to cope with it better. This past November we had the honor of meeting the CEO of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Dr. Bob Beall. He assured us of the good things coming in the near future because of our hard work fundraising and told us never had he been surer of a cure than now. And while our year was filled with many lows we also celebrated some great highs. Our kickball tournament raised a record $10,000 with almost twice the amount of teams and spectators. Amidst the adversity of a difficult economy we raised just shy of $27,000.
Let this be our personal invite to you. To help us make certain the drugs that Dr. Beall is so hopeful about curing CF will come to be available in the very near future.
There are so many ways you can support our team.
1. If you would like to help financially and make a donation to our team “Topel Trio”, please send a check payable to the “Cystic Fibrosis Foundation” to Tiffany & Chris Topel, 123 S. High Avenue, Jefferson WI 53549. Or visit our Great Strides webpage: http://www.cff.org/Great_Strides/TiffanyTopel5250 to make an online donation and watch our 2011 montage. Our pancake breakfast and rose sale in Fennimore will take place on Sunday, April 17th. Our rose sale in Jefferson will take place sometime in April. Mark your calendars to join us on Saturday, September 24th for our 4th annual “Kickin’ for a Cure” in Fort Atkinson.
2. Share our family’s story/this letter to someone you know who might be interested in helping us raise money for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. We also blog weekly to update on our kids’ health @ www.youthministermom.blogspot.com
3. Walk with us! Join our family on May 22nd at Elver Park in Madison. Don’t live near Madison? Great Strides also happens around the country so you can walk anywhere! Send us an e-mail and we would be glad to help you connect with a walk or to join our team.
4. Lift our family up spiritually. Even if you can not financially support us, please know that we appreciate and are grateful for all the love and prayers we receive. It means so much to us and gives us the strength to continue fighting each and every day. It is one of the greatest gifts of support you can offer.
5. Learn more. On Friday, March 25th @ 6 pm our family will be hosting “Wild about a Cure for CF” open house (at our home: 123 S. High, Jefferson) kick off party for our 2011 fund raising complete with a Wildtree food tasting (rep: Julie Endl) and CFF staff on hand to answer questions and get us motivated for fund raising. Please RSVP by March 20th to Tiffany by phone or email. As a bonus for coming, 10% of all sales will be donated towards our efforts and raised for CF!
While our name has team name has changed over the years (three times to be exact!), you can be sure that we will never stop raising money for a cure and that the foundation will be putting every dollar you donate or raise directly to research. We can never thank you enough for your support. We are incredibly blessed by amazing family, community, and friends. And without you we couldn’t do all we are for the CF Foundation. We pray that your family will be blessed this year as well. Thanks for being the cure!
With Love, Chris, Tiffany, Cayden, Colin, Trinity & Cooper Topel