A Surprise and a Thank You

Today I found a surprise waiting in my inbox.

The surprise was in the form of an email written by Kellie, who is the Associate Executive Director of the Peoria branch of the Greater Illinois Chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. I have known Kellie since I participated in my first Great Strides walk back in 2004 when a great group of friends decided to get together and raise money for Alex and Cystic Fibrosis. They called our team Alex's Angels, and I was so surprised and touched by their compassion, I cried when I found out about it. That was one of the first of many acts of kindness we experienced after Alex was diagnosed.

Since that first fundraising experience, I've been amazed and humbled by the generosity of our family, friends and strangers who have donated money repeatedly over the years to help fund research, care centers, and the creation of new drugs--all of which help to better the lives of those living with this disease. And the ultimate hope? A CURE. In my mind that equals a long and healthy life. A life everyone deserves.

I was surprised and humbled again today when I read Kellie's email. She was writing to let me know that the Foundation had received an anonymous, sizable donation in Alex's name, and she was going to register our team and transfer it over to Alex's Angels. She mentioned that she was stunned when she saw it and wanted to let me know in case I wasn't aware.

I was not aware, and the news stunned me too. Once again, I was overcome with wonder and gratitude for the compassion and generosity of people, in particular this Anonymous Donor.

And then, in the next email, Kellie shared the amount.


I felt my eyes widen as I stared at the words on the screen.

About this time, I got a phone call from my husband, Steve. I had forwarded him Kellie's original email, and he immediately called me after he read it. He too was stunned, and then I told him the amount. We were both speechless.

We are still wrapping our minds around the beauty of this act of kindness and have finally found the words to say this:


Thank you for your selflessness and generosity. Thank you for your love for us, for Alex, and for our family. Thank you for your action. You have helped many. You have renewed my faith in the human spirit. I love to be reminded of the goodness inside each one of us.

And I will end by saying this: $10,000 is a lot of money. But so is $1. The act of giving--whether of your time or your talents or your hard-earned dollars--is still an act of giving. And I thank you, Anonymous Donor, and all of you who have helped and supported us and donated to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation over the years.

You are changing lives.

Alex's Angels 2004--Our fundraising efforts were a success, and when we walked on that fall day in our matching Alex's Angels t-shirts, he toddled along after us wearing his own.

Alex climbing on the playground at the Great Strides walk in 2011.

At his last CF Clinic appointment in early March, Alex entertained himself while we waited. Because of the possible transfer of germs, each patient gets a stethoscope that stays in the room the entire visit. Alex also has to put on a mask when he arrives to protect himself and other patients from potentially dangerous germs that can live in the lungs of those who have CF. He can take the mask off once we enter our room but has to wear it in common areas of the clinic.

Donate to Alex's Angels


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