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‘Great Strides' fundraiser set for Saturday

• Proceeds go to research to cure cystic fibrosis.

Posted: April 25, 2008 2:58 a.m.
Updated: June 26, 2008 5:02 a.m.
 
For the eighth year in a row, the Southern California chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is hitting the pavement.

The Great Strides walk starts at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday at Westfield Valencia Town Center, aiming to raise money for research.

One of the most common genetic diseases in the United States, cystic fibrosis causes mucus to build up in organs, particularly the lungs and pancreas. It can make breathing difficult, block the digestive tract and contribute to infections.

It does not have a cure, and the average life span is 30 to 35 years for victims of the disease.

In the previous seven years the Great Strides walk has been held in Valencia, more that $650,000 has been raised, according to a news release from the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

"The walk in Valencia is one of our most successful," Jean Chan, director of special events for the foundation, said in the statement. "Its success is due in part to the many families in the Santa Clarita Valley who are affected by CF. They have dedicated a lot of time and energy into raising funds to find a cure."

One of those families is that of Jason and Kellie Davenport.

The Newhall residents' son Levi was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis when he was four months old, and put on medications to help him absorb nutrients and gain weight.

Last October, Levi was hospitalized for two weeks after culturing a bacteria called psudamonas, requiring him to be on an IV and inhaled antibiotics.

Now two years old, he is doing well with regular breathing treatments and vest treatments three times a day.

We are so blessed to have amazing friends and family who love and support us," Kellie Davenport said in a statement. "We cherish everyday with our son and feel so blessed to be his parents. We are awaiting the day when God heals cystic fibrosis."

To register for Saturday's Great Strides walk, visit http://greatstrides.cff.org, or check in at 8:30 a.m.

Saturday. Anyone who is unable to walk but would like to make a donation can mail a check payable to The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, 6420 Wilshire Blvd, First Floor, Los Angeles, CA 90048. Make a note on the check that it is for the Valencia walk.

For more information, visit www.cff.org.

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