Sunday, April 19, 2015

Memories Making Me SMILE!

My Fabulous Weekend:

So many things made me smile this weekend and it was a FULL weekend! Friday, we headed to Peoria to see "annie" which my sister music directed. I'm so proud of her, she is simply an amazing music teacher, choir director, band director, and music director!  You can tell how much they love her, considering how many scream "Hi Miss K" and wave to her!The show was really good, I'd never have thought the kids were 5th-8th grade.

Picture Right: me & my sister! 

Plus, I bought a ton of concessions at intermission, the mom who does their concession stand is a caterer! I had homemade fudge, chocolate dipped strawberries, Annie themed sugar cookie, and of course Andrew got his popcorn! He's crazy about his Popcorn!!!

We stayed at my sister's Friday night, since she lives in between our place and Champaign! It was convenient staying there, since it made our trip to Champaign's Great Strides Walk
shorter the next morning!

I did my meds at her place before we headed out for the walk!  

The Champaign Great Strides walk is very precious to me. Its the first walk site I participated at (back in 2008). And I went to that first Great Strides Walk because Laura (my best friend w/ CF) asked me too. It was the last time we ever were face to face. After 2008, she got sick a lot more, struggled a lot due to certain CF bugs she had cultured. We decided to not ever be face to face after that and it was the toughest decision we EVER made! She didn't want me to contract those bugs or have my health decline. Not seeing her face-to-face or giving her another hug stills really bothers me today. 7 years, we skyped, called, texted constantly, wrote, sent care packages, but I never got to see her as her health declined. I couldn't hug her when she was denied twice for a transplant. I wanted so much to hold her hand at the end. But I couldn't and she wouldn't have let me.

So that Champaign walk has a lot of memories for me, Laura brought me to my first walk... and now this Saturday I attended the Great Strides Walk in Champaign for the 5th time and my 13th CF Walk overall! She'd be soo proud! And it was a such a nice day weather wise & so much fun!

The Champaign walk had a food truck, balloon maker, raffles, guest speakers, and informative CF booths.  AbbVie had a booth there too!

Pic: Andrew, Me, & the AbbVie Reps.

AbbVie not only does research, has nutritional & other products (like CF Comicbooks) for the CF community, they offer supportive programs too, like the CFchefs program & the AbbVie Scholarship! I was an AbbVie Scholarship winner in 2008 & 2010, receiving a total of 5,500 from them! Want to apply click here! It was nice running into Debbie (the Abbvie Rep). She has been to other walks in the past and she approached me about coming to our Princeton Walk! Yay!

Champaign's walk had subway lunches, which is what Princeton's is doing this year too! And I was super proud I did the whole lap around the park! It was great catching up with a couple of my friends from Champaign (who walked with us). We had 3 people from Champaign join Andrew & I on Team CF2. Plus, Andrew's Sister lives in Champaign, so they stopped by to visit for a bit (which was nice, we live so far away we don't see them much).

And Our Team CF2 raised $220 at the Champaign walk (bringing our 2015 total so far to: $415). However, we are anticipating on raising over $10,000 again this year!

In 2014: We Raised $10,088 as Team CF2 ( and if you include all the other donations for the Princeton Walk ( which I founded/coordinate) besides my own team ) we raised $14,526 total!

One of our team members took the picture, but here are 4 of us! 

I know the CF Foundation Peoria Chapter has quite a few more photos of us ( including a full team pic), so I'll share those on my CF Facebook page once they are posted! (make sure to "like" our page in order to follow my story, learn more about CF,  &  hear more about Team CF2's awareness efforts!

Overall, it was an Amazing walk. So I was sad we had to leave, but we had the 3+ hour drive home still...

And since Laura passed away this past September, I decided I was going to start visiting her grave after the walk (since it's only 40 minutes away). I don't get around that part of the state much and the Champaign Walk is always within 2 weeks of Laura's Birthday. So it's a perfect day & way to remember her!

Last fall, we stopped at her grave in October (when we were in Champaign visiting Andrew's Sister). Since she didn't have a headstone yet, I wasn't sure which one was hers. So I guessed based on the color of flowers on the grave. Laura's favorite color was also purple (for CF), so I placed my purple flowers on the grave that had the most purple flowers. This Saturday, haha, I realized I guessed wrong. I'm not upset by it, Laura would prolly even get a good laugh out of it. But when I did find her tombstone I was sooo happy with what her family chose that I started to tear up. Laura loved raising awareness for CF & loved winnie-the-pooh! Her tombstone was beautiful with an outline of winnie-the-pooh holding onto balloons on one side, and a small purple CF cure ribbon on the other! It was perfect! It gave me the biggest smile and brought tears to my eyes of course...And I was happy I got to leave my flowers on the right grave this time!

We drove for another hour and I was STARVING, so we stopped at a Chili's for an early dinner. Did you know Chili's & Cheddar may be my favorite two chains? Margartia Chicken and Dijon Mustard Chicken! OH YUM!

It may have been a long weekend, but it was full of many great memories! Thank you to everyone who donated to our walk and/ or joined us at the walk!!!!! Without you, this would not be possible!

I'll keep everyone updated, since I have clinic/ doc appt (post being sick)this Wednesday and my GI update appointment next Monday! (to read about my last appointment which was on my birthday click here)

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