Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Vines of Life

As I looked out across the valley, beauty hugged every square inch: full of life, hope, and such spirit. Vineyards of grapevines stretched beyond the horizon, embracing the earth with its unmatchable beauty.  

Every sight that my eyes could take in was covered in beauty: vines at every stage of growth, from newly turned soil to trunks whose bark showed the many stories of past harvests. At the base of the dirt I could see the beauty of each individual plant: strong and independent, stretching towards the sky. But where the base split off into a multitude of branches and leaves spilled out over guiding wires, it was difficult to see where one vine began and the next ended: seamlessly melding together as one strong blanket of leaf covered branches. 

While a single vine has the capability of producing enough grapes for a few bottles of wine, it cannot supply an entire winery with enough fruit to make hundreds of bottles for one season's vintage: it takes the fruit of many vines working together. 

Together as One
The fight against Cystic Fibrosis is like that of a vineyard: made up of a multitude of independent and strong individual plants that come together to form a strong and supportive framework, giving way for each bloom to live out its fullest potential. They each lend their harvest for a single greater purpose. You are a part of the framework that supports each and every one of us with CF. You are a part of that mass field of vines. We as individuals cannot fight CF alone, it takes a field of people lending their support and contributing their potential to this fight: giving new life and new possibility to every breath. The greater the field, the greater the hope that is given to each friend, aunt, brother, grandson, daughter, and loved one impacted by CF. 

Be a part of this incredibly strong and beautiful field of vines. On May 30th I ask you to walk with us for The Great Strides against Cystic Fibrosis. Every step taken is another step closer to finding a cure. Come and show that each individual with CF is not alone in this fight, but a part of a beautiful strong vineyard. 

Because of You
90 cents of every dollar given to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation goes directly towards life saving drug development and gets us one step closer to a cure. In all honesty, without each of your generous donations, I would not be here. I would not be breathing. I would not be witnessing the beauty that every breath holds. I owe you my very life. I try and imagine a life in which I no longer existed. What if my journey would have ended when it was expected to at the age of 20? I think about all the beauty I would have missed out upon: marriage, college, graduate school, music, traveling the world, watching my goddaughters grow up, and every incredible relationship that has impacted my life. I am alive because of those life extending treatments and drugs. I am alive because of you. 

But I am greedy. While I am so incredibly grateful for every breath I am given, I still want more. I want to grow old. I want to travel the world again. I want to breathe. I want to live life freely without thinking about CF and all its ruthless realities. I want to see the children with CF live out their dreams and freely breathe without hesitation. I want them to dwell in the limitless possibility of time and the future.  I want every loved one to live without fear of CF. I want tears caused by CF to be happy ones and filled with hope, not because of the pain, realities, and fear CF holds. I want every parent to never fear a CF diagnosis. I want CF to be remembered as something of the past, not a part of anyone's future. Not a part of OUR future. 

I ask from the most humbled depths of my heart to please help make this a reality. We are so close. 

Great Strides Walk - TEAM ASHLEY
Saturday, May 30th, 2015
Spencer Park, Sioux Falls, SD
10 a.m.

Please DONATE to Team Ashley at:

To WALK and be a part of Team Ashley please register yourself (you do not have to donate) so we can get a final count for walkers. Click "Join Team" at: Team Ashley - Great Strides

Help be a part of a strong and supportive network of life-giving branches. We cannot do it alone. Love to you all. 

Walk. Donate. Share CF's story. 

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