I’ve been inspired many times over from a number of different people over the years in my life. Laura And Cate Cheevers are two of them!
Laura and Cate Cheevers, granddaughters of Gerry Cheevers, Boston Bruins greatest goal tender of all time and Hockey Hall of Fame, are a couple of beautiful, energetic, fun-loving girls from the Boston area. At a glance you wouldn’t know it, but the two of them tussle and scrap every day with an adversary, as they both battle cystic fibrosis (CF). It’s a disease that causes a thick, gluey mucus to build up in the lungs and other areas of the body. As a result, someone with Cystic Fibrosis experiences fits of coughing, breathing problems, fatigue, and loss of weight―to name a few.
It’s also genetic disorder. Their parents each carry the gene associated with Cystic Fibrosis, which meant there was a 4:1 chance their child would be born with it; a fact not known until their mother was tested while pregnant with, Laura. Despite the odds, the couple couldn’t help but feel the strain of knowing what they had just learned about their baby girls.
Laura is the eldest of the sisters by 3 years and was diagnosed before birth. So before their precious little girl took her first breaths in this world, their parents knew they had a fight on their hands.
Three years after the birth of their first child Laura, the Cheevers family brought Cate into the world. She, too, was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis.
The girls are treated daily and in a number of different arduous ways including nutritional therapy, antibiotics to prevent infections, pounding of the chest and back in an effort to dislodge some of the mucus build up, and digestive and respiratory therapies. Many times Laura had endured hospital stays weeks at a time, resulting in several hours of homework completed with her parents. She is a trooper. Despite the hindrance, Laura is an honor roll student. Cate has not needed to be hospitalized, but continues to have multiple home treatments on top of dance, soccer and basketball practices. She still gets her work school work done and is a great student as well.
But no matter the prognosis, their resolve would never be in question. According to their dad, the girls haven’t complained a day in their lives. In fact, Cystic Fibrosis doesn’t attack them; they attack it by staying active! Cate is a very good soccer player, and Laura is an exceptional dancer. They are continuously moving. Both their parents cannot put enough importance on what exercise and good nutrition has done for their girls. They contend that keeping the girls active, especially in competitive sports is essential to their daughters’ physical and mental growth. Because they embrace athletics so passionately, they’re a cut above the rest.
Laura and Cate have the support of their family and friends, and the many others whose generosity has made a tremendous effect on the fight against Cystic Fibrosis. Through private donations, a company called Vertex Pharmaceuticals has developed a drug called VX-770, which aims at increasing the flow of ions across the cell membrane. In lay person’s terms, it is meant to ease breathing when there’s an abundance of mucus in the lungs. Laura and Cate participated in a double blind study where one took the drug and the other took a placebo. Cate, who was taking the drug gained energy and weight, while Laura’s condition remained unchanged. However, it was a significant breakthrough.
It’s also important to recognize that the therapy was fully funded by private donations. That is why I’ve deciede that some of the proceeds from Active Girls Healthy Women book will be donated to the Cystic Fibrosis foundation. Not only will Active Girls Healthy Women help parents combat child obesity but the proceeds will also go to help find a cure for a great cause! Such a win win situation!
So, please keep the private donations going. Stay active, stay fit, and support the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Please go to the Cystic Fibrosis website for more information! http://www.cff.org/