Thursday, March 25, 2010

The 65 Roses Tour in Searcy, Arkansas

Shelby, Emily, & Tyler (my babies!)
As a mother of three healthy children, I count my blessings daily.  For the entire nine months I carried the three of them, I remember the constant worry that there would be something wrong when they were born.  After they arrived, I would wake countless times in the night just to hear their sweet, content breaths and watch their chest rise and fall.  Even now with my three children at the ages of 7, 4, and 1.5 I still do the same thing.  I cannot imagine the pain that a parent faces when finding out that their child is facing a life time of treatments due to an illness or even worse.

Cystic Fibrosis is one of those illnesses.  You may be like I was, you'd heard of Cystic Fibrosis but never really knew exactly what it was. Cystic Fibrosis is an inherited chronic disease that affects the lungs and digestive system of about 30,000 children and adults in the United States (70,000 worldwide). A defective gene and its protein product cause the body to produce unusually thick, sticky mucus that clogs the lungs and leads to life-threatening lung infections; and obstructs the pancreas and stops natural enzymes from helping the body break down and absorb food. You can read more about Cystic Fibrosis here.

Kelsy Odom and Shelby Black volunteering at the Family Fun Stop!

65 Roses" is what some children with Cystic Fibrosis (CF) call their disease because the words are much easier for them to pronounce. 65 Roses® is a registered trademark of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. You can click here read more on the story of Mary G Weiss and her volunteer efforts.

Sweet little Aven.
This year in my hometown of Searcy, Arkansas through the efforts of some awesome people, the first 65 Roses Bike Tour was established.  When my husband and I heard of this awesome event, we knew that we wanted to be a part of it!  If you have read the story of sweet little Aven, you will feel the same way.  I was fortunate enough to meet her on Saturday and I must say it was such a blessing to see such a beautiful, energetic girl singing and dancing.  What a blessing to know that this was organized to help to find a cure for this debilitating disease that effects this beautiful gift from God.  You see, had I not known Aven was sick with CF, I would have never known that she wasn't a healthy, vibrant girl like all of the other little girls at the park that she played and danced with.  She's beautiful, kind, and not a bad dancer either!

Since I am by no means a cyclist, I knew that my efforts would have to be in the form of volunteering.  Thankfully I have a wonderful husband who was also willing to do his part.  My wonderful sister and I got together with our friend April who has "adopted" us as sisters.  We had a fun night of playing Betty Crocker.  We baked cookies with our children (well, we baked cookies while the children played!) to hand out at the family fun stop (1/2 way point) on the Family Fun Ride.   We baked 13 dozen cookies and most of them made it to the family fun stop.  Of course there were some set aside for samples and the dough had to be tested as well.

 We had the extreme pleasure of handing out cookies and water to the cyclists on the Family Fun Ride and I was so excited to capture a few shots of the riders entering and exiting the stop as well as posing with friends in front of the "We Took The Challenge" sign.  It was great fun and such an amazing experience to know that everyone there was in their own way helping to fight this disease.  The weather threatened to be dreadful for the bicycle tour, but I believe that prayers were answered because the rain held off until the festivities were over.
Some of the volunteers who helped make this possible.

This is SO his color! 

According to the 65 Roses Facebook Page, there were 207 Cyclists in this, it's first year and raised an estimated $6000!  Keep in mind that this was the first weekend of spring break.  I am certain that this hindered attendance a bit.  But, am so happy that Searcy came out to show their support for such a worthy cause!  I cannot wait to help out next year and am positively certain that these numbers will at least double!

Students coming together for a great cause!  

Not only sponsors but riders as well!
To see more photos from the tour, you can click here. You may purchase high resolution digital images of these photos at $5.00 each with the proceeds to benefit the CF Foundation. 

  • To find out how you can help change the CF from meaning Cystic Fibrosis to Cure Found, click here.
  • To do your part by making a donation, click here to find out how.

Amber on the radio.
I would just like to say a special thanks to an old friend, Brittany (Aven's Mommy) for being such a strong person and always keeping a positive attitude.  That is something that I always loved about you.  Your smile was always so beautiful and still remains so after all these years.  Amber (Aven's Auntie), you are such an inspiration!  I am so proud to call you a friend.  Your efforts for this fund raiser were so phenomenal!  Even though you had almost no sleep you were running at full speed for this event.  It was orchestrated like a well oiled machine.  You worked so hard to accomplish such an awe inspiring event and you did it!!!  I am so proud of you.  I know that your brother is proud of you as we are all proud of HIM for completing this bike tour in honor of his beautiful daughter, Aven.  I am also proud to call Searcy my home town.  I did not grow up here, but am proud to say that I am so glad that my children are.  Thank you, Searcy for coming out to support such a worth cause!  To see the rest of my photos from the tour (Family Fun Stop and Spring Park), click here.

6 comments, add yours here:

Shutterbug8162 said...

I don't know where to start or what to say. I know quite a bit about CF. My 4 yo. niece has it. And each year for the last 3 years or family holds a Country Concert and Motorcycle ride to raise money for the CF Foundation. Last year we were able to donate $10,000 in her name. It's a terrible disease, and it breaks my heart to see kids like Aven and our Paige who otherwise look beautiful and lively, and know they are fighting a battle they cannot win. If you get time, check out our website, I know we can make CF stand for Cure Found, thanks to folks like your family and ours!!!

Kelly said...

I love reading your blog. After reading the post on 65 Roses, I was amazed...I am from Searcy, too! Small world!!

Crazy Working Mom said...

Shutterbug, thanks so much for commenting on this post! I do believe that through volunteerism and hard work, the research will prevail and a cure will be found! I'm certain. I pray every night. I will add Paige to my prayers!

Kelly, so glad you dropped by!! Thanks so much. I hope to see ya back around here again. :) Maybe we can meet up sometime and have lunch. What a great blog post that would make!! Filled with photos of course!

Kim said...

What can I say....WOW! Proud to know you.

The Misplaced Midwesterner

Anonymous said...

Attending community events like that is so much fun. And wit's a good way to get the kids involved at an early age. Teaches them a lot about responsible citizenry.

Crazy Working Mom said...

Thanks, Kim.

Lois, I agree. Shelby enjoyed it 'cause a lot of her friends were there so she got to hang out with them outside of school. THAT is always a plus. :)