I remember many years ago when my husband was a volunteer with PCFD #1 in Ocean Park, WA as a FF/EMT. I remember the honor and the joy he found in serving, in helping others, helping his brothers and sisters in the service…but mostly I loved the pride he took in being needed and appreciated like never before. I remember when I would watch him leave behind whatever he was in the middle of doing, yes even sleep in the middle of the night, to jump out the door whenever his pager would go off and his help was needed. He’d spend nights there to help out. He dove into their trainings and loved what he accomplished in his 6 years there as a volunteer.
I joined for a short time as well. Not for the fire aspect. But the medical. This was before I would find out way more about medicine then I ever hoped to, and in a much more intimate and personal role then I ever desired: with our own son. I remember putting on that gear. It was so heavy, weighing not as much as I did, but dang close. I remember how hard it was to simply walk in all of it on flat surfaces.
Needless to say I wasn’t cut out for that. I simply couldn’t keep up…
my heart melted with such thanks and such joy. Brad and I were invited to attend the 2nd annual Portland FF Stairclimb for a Cure for Cystic Fibrosis that was started and ran by our friends the Louks family. You see, their two grandsons Carson and Brandon have Cystic Fibrosis and are young and vibrant. Their parents, Travis and Elicia, are in the shoes we once walked but times two! It’s a battle that is an uphill fight and it is mandatory and NOT one bit optional, and the direction it leads is never where we want it to go. We love their family desperately, as well as many CF families that we’ve grown close to and have been so fantastic to our family in our greatest need.
Our fight didn’t end when Conner took his last breath on earth…even as he breathed his first full breath in heaven we continued our fight.
To advocate for a cure.
To bring awareness to a disease that is the TOP killer of children of ALL GENETIC DISEASES!
The disease that over 30,000 young children and adults have…
That horrible disease that stole our son.
Brad and I would give anything to keep our friends and even strangers in this same fight from losing their loved ones. It is so desperately, intensely painful, and we simply cant let that happen.
WE CONTINUE TO FIGHT FOR THAT CURE!!!!
Our living children can be carriers of this horrible disease. Theres a 75% chance they are infact. So what if one of our grandchildren was burdened by this horrible disease?
We refuse to sit by and let that be even a possibility.
Yesterday nearly 400 FF from across the country, some traveling even from Florida to participate, climbed 40 flights of stairs and raised over $61,000 to aid in our FIGHT to bring CF to it’s knees. It was such an amazing, emotional day.
They honored our son.
They dedicated yesterday’s climb to the memory of our son. Brad and I cried so many tears. Most of the FF’s after learning of our loss, would nodd in respect to me, and shake my husbands hands. We were so humbled for their gratitude and their respect. It was a very emotional day to say the least.
Travis Otterson (sons with CF), Ryan Fisher (with CF) and my hubby
I’m not going to lie, the emotion didn’t just stem from being surrounded by so much love and support. In those moments of precious love and support from relative strangers, brothers and sisters in the Fire service, it was glaringly apparent that many who love us didn’t come to support us on this important day. Heartbreaking to say the least. It’s very hard right now for us, and we are so THANKFUL for those who’ve stood by our sides, or who have come to our sides during this time. We can not even imagine getting out of bed without you all there to help us! thank you from the bottom of our hearts…
The picture of Brad and i on either side of Connerman brakes my heart to see. It floods my heart with such emotion, knowing that forever now, that’s the closest we can be to our sons image. No longer in the flesh, but on a stretched canvas. and that is heartbreaking indeed.
There’s not much more to say…so I will leave you with this short clip that was on our local newscast last night at 10pm…
goodnight and thank you for your love and support…
Love Love Love