CF Champions backs patients, caregivers

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DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens has launched CF Champions: Navigating the Journey, Together, a campaign to support cystic fibrosis patients and their caregivers. The initiative was debuted in May to coincide with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s National CF Awareness Month.

Walgreens has teamed up with four “champions” to share their stories through the new platform, including their experiences living with the disease and ideas for meeting challenges such as prevention of infection, nutrition and rigorous treatment regimens. The program aims to support patients and caregivers as they navigate their journey of living with CF.

The CF Champion Ambassadors were selected because they write about day-to-day life from differing perspectives yet share the common challenge of living successfully with cystic fibrosis. The champions are Mary and Peter Frey of The Frey Life. Mary was diagnosed with CF at 7 weeks old. She and her husband, Peter, manage her CF as a team, and through their “vlog,” or video blog, they “aim to show the ups and downs of everyday life with a chronic illness and encourage and inspire others. Also selected was Kristen Chidsey of A Mind “Full” Mom. Chidsey was diagnosed with CF at age 31. Upon learning of her diagnosis, she also learned that both of her children have CF as well. She is their CF role model. Kristen is a food and restaurant editor, and writes a blog about recipes, sticking to a budget, healthy living and family.

Also featured are Laura Boyer of Mama Pure. Boyer is the caregiver for her son, who was diagnosed with CF at 8 days old. She views the diagnosis as her family’s new normal and does not allow it to disrupt their family or prevent her son from living fully and will focus some future blog entries on her experiences as a CF mom and caregiver. Rachel Young of Jet-Setting Mom is another champion. Young’s daughter was diagnosed with CF at 8 months old. The family continues to travel and writes a blog about travel destinations, services and products.

“In the community of people involved with cystic fibrosis — patients, caregivers, health care professionals, researchers — there are many champions. We have selected some whose lives are touched by CF and who are also good storytellers, people who can share insights into the lives of families touched by this condition, commented Gerald Gleeson, group vice president of Walgreens enterprise specialty. “We hope we can all learn something from them.”

CF is a life-altering genetic disease which primarily affects the respiratory and digestive systems.

Presently, there are approximately 30,000 children and adults living with CF in the United States.


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