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Princeton’s first Cystic Fibrosis walk raises more than $13,000

Published: Monday, July 7, 2014 3:52 p.m. CDT • Updated: Monday, July 7, 2014 3:54 p.m. CDT

PRINCETON — Princeton’s first ever Great Strides Cystic Fibrosis Walk has been labeled a success.

The walk was held on June 28 at Zearing Park. The event was planned by 28-year-old Cheriz Kunkel of Princeton, along with her friends and family. Kunkel was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis (CF) when she was just a few weeks old.

While it was Kunkel’s goal to raise $10,000 to go toward the CF research, her event brought in 120 participants, and together they raised $13,300. Because the event was such a success, Princeton will now become a permanent annual walk site for the CF Foundation’s Great Strides Walks. Future events will have bigger and better resources and get its own website where people can sign-up and keep track of the walk details.

Kunkel was thrilled with the outcome and more than excited to announce the great news about Princeton being a permanent walk site. She explained the walks are the single largest nationwide fundraiser and are crucial to the research and development for a cure for CF.

“As a person with CF, I can personally say that I can feel a difference in my health, especially my ability to breathe, thanks to new medications that have been found through research, “ she said. “In fact, in the last two weeks a new medicine combination has been found that will help target an underlying cause for one of the most common mutations for CF.”

Kunkel said the Phase 3 clinical trial results show a promising future, however, only pertain to one of the thousands of the CF mutations.

“This is why continued fundraising and research is needed to cure CF and help all those afflicted. We really appreciate the community’s support and look forward to next year’s second annual Great Strides Walk for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation,” she said.

Kunkel and her team were able to gather more than 30 raffle prizes to give away at the event and got more than 25 businesses to donate to cause.

“Lots of people went home with great gifts,” Kunkel said. “I want to thank everyone who sponsored, donated, volunteered and walked with us.”

Planning for the second annual event is already on her mind. Kunkel is looking for anyone’s feedback on this year’s event in order to get a better idea on what to do and what not to do for the next event.

People are also encouraged to check out Kunkel’s blog at www.cheriz.org, where she blogs about her personal experiences with CF and news associated with developments in CF disease.

More details on the June 28 event can be read about on Kunkel’s blog, and photos from the event can also be viewed.

Comment on this story at www.bcrnews.com.

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