SIDNEY — Zane Webber, a fifth-grader at Jackson Center local schools, wants to help the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (CFF) raise money for research into therapies and an eventual cure for Cystic Fibrosis (CF).
According to cff.org, “In people with CF, a defective gene causes a thick, buildup of mucus in the lungs, pancreas, and other organs. In the lungs, the mucus clogs the airways and traps bacteria leading to infections, extensive lung damage, and eventually, respiratory failure. In the pancreas, the mucus prevents the release of digestive enzymes that allow the body to break down food and absorb vital nutrients.”
Most people with CF are diagnosed by the age of two. Zane was diagnosed much younger.
“During one of my ultrasounds, the doctor told me he thought Zane might have CF. I didn’t even know what it was then. I had to read up on it,” said Sandy Webber, Zane’s mother, “I want awareness brought to CF.”
Zane has to be hospitalized 1 to 2 weeks each year and have antibiotics for 2 weeks. Despite this, Zane plays IUTIS baseball in the summer. He functions as the catcher so that he doesn’t have to do a lot of running, which can cause him issues. Zane has to take salt tablets that help him not to dehydrate.
Zane also enjoys fishing and drawing.
This is the first year that the Webbers will participate in the CFF Great Strides walk at Tawawa Park on May 21.
“They have made many strides in CF treatments. We wanted to do the walk before, but something always came up. We decided that we just needed to make time to do it,” said Sandy.
In the 1950s, most children with CF were not expected to live long enough to attend elementary school. Today, the median length of life for someone with CF to survive is 40.
Zane’s team for the walk is called Zane’s Soldiers.
Sandy, who works at the Marathon gas station on Hoewisher Road Her employers allowed her to raise funds there. People can donate money to Zane’s team and get a sign with their name to put on the window. The outpouring from customers has been so great that the windows at the station are covered.
“I hope that people will join in to support or join Zane’s team or one of the other teams,” said Sandy.
Anyone who wants to join a team or donate to the CFF can do so at cff.org. All proceeds go to support CF research.
The writer is a regular contributor to the Sidney Daily News.