I remember my sister telling me I should set my goal higher, that people would surprise me. I reluctantly raised my goal to $1000. I posted a link to my fund raising page on facebook, and watched in amazement over the next few days as the donations began rolling in. I was surprised not only by who was donating, but by the amount people were donating. Of course I got donations from family, close friends, even business associates of my dad's. This didn't surprise me. But I got donations from high school friends I hadn't spoken to in 15 years, people I babysat for when I was a teenager, even friends of family members and other friends that I had never met. And these donations ranged from several hundred dollars, to 5 dollars. The donations of 5 dollars were the most touching to me. It said to me that these people had little to spare, but wanted to spend their hard earned money to show me their support. I was moved to tears so many times in those weeks as I reached and raised my goal over and over again!
I ended up raising over $5000 for that event. I raised so much so quickly, in fact, that the CF Foundation employee in charge of Run Like Hell called me personally and wanted to meet me and Monkey. She couldn't believe how quickly I was raising money and wanted to talk about the foundation and what they could do for us. This started a great relationship with the team at the Cincinnati chapter CFF that lasted the entire time we lived in the area. But I guess details of that relationship (which I really miss since we moved to Columbus) is a topic for another post.
I decided I wanted to come up with a theme costume for our team. I wanted something that we could dress Monkey as the center of, and have other team members dress as supporting cast. I came up with the idea to dress Monkey as Yoda, and the rest of our team would be Jedi. We had a small team for this first event, just my husband and I, my parents, and our good friend Zack who has supported us in many ways as we have raised funds for different CFF events. My dad's cousin also joined us for the event. I knew I really had the support of my parents when they agreed to dress as Jedi and be seen in public.
The event was so much fun! It was fantastic people watching and seeing all the creative costumes people came up with. Monkey was 3 months old, and was ooh-ed and aww-ed over all evening. Our tiny Yoda and the rest of the team were photographed many times, and we enjoyed mingling with the crowd as we walked the 5K at the very back of the pack (the police actually took down the street barricades and told us to walk on the sidewalk towards the end because we took so long to finish). It felt amazing to know we had the support of so many people, and that we were helping raise money that would go towards research to someday cure CF. This event sparked a passion in me to do everything I can to raise money and awareness, and this passion has become a huge part of my life and who I am. I know in my heart that these efforts will be rewarded with the chance to see my little boy grow up to become an incredible man.