So here’s the deal: we here at Smart Furniture are going for a walk on Sunday, April 21st. We’re walking as members of the CF Smackdown team at the Great Strides walk (at McCallie School from 1 to 2 P.M.) to support the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation – and we’d love it if you’d join us!
But why? Here’s a bit of background.
In the words of Smart Furniture’s Chairman and Founder Stephen Culp,
The world goes dark, for a time, when the doctor says your baby girl has been diagnosed with cystic fibrosis.
We all saw that happen with Stephen and Karen (our Creative Director) when their daughter Lily was diagnosed with CF shortly after her birth in 2012. The pain in their eyes as they told us the news was something you can’t really put into words. Lily is a joy (who lends color to our meetings every time she shows up at the office), and it’s hard to imagine that something as sinister as cystic fibrosis could ever touch such a beautiful little girl.
However, if you know the Culps, you know that they came out swinging when the shock and immediate grief had passed. They immediately started working to make Lily’s future brighter, pushing several research initiatives forward, and launching the “CF Smackdown” – initially as a cause on Causeway (a non-profit co-founded by Stephen Culp) – that’s raised over $20,000 to fund the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s efforts to find a cure.
So why does this matter?
That’s simple: because there’s actually something we can do to help! Research has been snowballing in recent years, to the point that there’s a drug called Kalydeco that actually controls symptoms in a percentage of people affected by CF. That’s a big deal, and with more money for research grants, just imagine: one of the most widespread life-shortening genetic diseases could largely be brought under control, potentially within the next decade. This disease is unique, in that it is caused by a mutation in a single gene – and just last year they found a drug which, for a growing number of patients, can nearly neutralize CF’s effects. With funding, a greater and greater share of patients are seeing hope and, more importantly, results.
So take the Great Strides walk with us! And if you’re not in Chattanooga, you can still help. We’ll let Stephen sum it up:
Contribute to the CF Smackdown on Causeway– the timing is historic, and your donation will be doubled with a match from a local source, up to a $15,000 match. 100% of these funds will pass through to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (CFF), with Chattanooga’s name all over it.
Will the money be dissolved in a pool of wasteful bureaucracy and silly admin expenses?
Quite the contrary. First, 100% of your contribution (actually up to 200%, given the match) will go to the CFF to be allocated to the effort. Second, the CFF knows what the hell it’s doing. This isn’t a nonprofit who blows money on junk mail and Sally Struthers campaigns. They invest well, and their proverbial “search for a cure” actually just found one, in 2012, for a significant number of CF patients. The next round is in the pipeline. Third, given the current rate of traction, your contribution will make an actual difference in the lives of children and adults who are battling CF right now.
And hey, if you walk with us, drop us a line before next Sunday and you might even get a spiffy cape to wear! To stay informed in the future, you might check out the upcoming CF Smackdown: End Cystic Fibrosis This Decade site (still in beta!).