COVID-19 has had a major impact on BEF and Team Boomer.
We had to cancel all of our spring fundraising events – even what was supposed to be our 10th annual Run to Breathe in Central Park, a morning that celebrates the strength and hopefulness of the entire cystic fibrosis community.
In spite of – or maybe even because of – the challenges we have all faced these past weeks, our Team Boomer community came together and yet again inspired our entire staff.
So, we want to highlight the incredible groups of families and friends who didn’t let COVID-19 stop them from virtually running to breathe.
Thank you to each and every one of you for your dedication and positivity to the entire CF community and for making the 10th annual Boomer’s CF Run to Breathe an unforgettable one.
Team James started participating in RTB in 2015 after losing our cousin James Kennelty in 2014 due to CF complications. James was 19 when he passed away. That first year our team was small, but we raised a whopping $4,810! Every year our team has grown little by little, bringing in more family members and friends. This year we were disappointed that the race was cancelled, but Team James still ran on April 5 (social distance style) in our own cities and states! Throughout NY, NJ, DC, etc we ran outside or on our treadmills. We stayed connected by sending pictures in our team James/ team Boomer shirts, and cheered each other on via Facebook messenger. I am so proud of this team, and can’t wait to see how much we grow next year.
When we found out Remi had CF I started my research immediately, and my husband and I began to get involved with organizations however we could. It was amazing to see how many people we knew who knew other people with CF or a story to tell us. I remember my mom I think mentioning Gunnar Esiason and we read up on his story. My husband being a huge Jets fan was also aware of him as well and the team at Stony Brook also mentioned him. So, we did some research and saw the event in NYC and thought it was perfect!
Our team got so large because we have the most amazing friends and family.
Our families are pretty big and have connections to so many supportive people- their friends and co-workers. Our friends are extremely supportive!
I played lacrosse in college at Louisville so when one person needs something like a fundraiser or help with a contest or something we have that competitive mentality and all step in. We are family and will do anything for one another.
I also coach lacrosse and soccer at Riverhead High School so the support I’ve received from the Riverhead community is another great support group.
I have to say I learned my talent of spreading awareness and leading fundraisers from my mom. As a teacher she always led student government events and such so I’ve definitely learned from her. My friend Katie (a Louisville teammate) helped me with the idea of the virtual race. I made a Facebook event with a brief explanation of the original race and how we now had to do it virtual and instructed people to post their workout/photo/video on Instagram or in the Facebook group and tag @runningwremi and Team Boomer also with the #runtobreathewya
Different ways they did it-
- Ran / Walked 4 miles
- Did a 30-minute workout
- Bike rides
We had over 100 people participate in the event and event raised an extra couple hundred dollars that day for the fundraiser.
I ran the inaugural RTB. Have missed 2 because of surgeries.
I ran this year’s RTB on Gunnar’s birthday and made it a trail run.
It was quite the lung workout while having my nose and mouth covered. Possibly masking (not a pun) the daily breathing difficulties of CF patients.
Team Turtle (Written by Team Boomer CF Workout Warrior Travis Blau)
I got my double lung transplant in October of 2016, and my sister challenged me to get healthy enough to run 4 miles in RTB. In 6 months, I was able to walk and run it.
The team is mixed between friends and family. My family has now made it a tradition to run it every year. Some of my family members run just once a year… and this is the once. A few even walked this year which was a great way to get the rest of the family involved. I go to a CrossFit gym called Tribute Strength. We have a very close community, and they all know my story. They run every year to show their support for not only me, but all those that have CF or had a transplant. They go out of their way to show their support.
We also invite as many people as we can because it has now become a tradition to go to lunch after the run as a big group to celebrate the completion of the run and to relax and catch up.
When we found out the run was cancelled this year, the owner of Tribute Strength reminded us that just because the run was canceled, did not mean we could not participate. From that, members, friends, and family who had signed up for the run/walk and those who originally had not but now had an abundance of time on their hands completed the run on their own. They all documented their experience by taking pictures and sending it to me. It made if feel as though we still got to celebrate this achievement together, even with being apart.