Saturday, July 28, 2001

Perhaps by now you're wondering why I'm blogging for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. I had the esteemed pleasure of going to school with a young man named Brett Whimberly. I suppose I first met him back in 3rd grade when my family moved here. He was in my class a few years in grade school, and in a few of my classes in junior high. Brett was one of those happy kids that everyone liked, not because he was the quarterback of the football team or the social king or anything, but just because he was a genuinely sweet person. Looking back, I suppose its because he had to mature far beyond his age so quickly. We all noticed Brett missed a lot of school, and why, but I dont think any of us really *got* it. When we were in high school, a collection was taken up to pay for a lung transplant, and being the close group we all were (at least half of my graduating class had known each other since grade school) everyone pitched in, and Brett got new lungs. We were all excited, thinking that at last, his struggle with CF was over. No more months of missed school stuck in a hospital.. no more sleepless nights because he was up coughing. Little did we know that not long later, Brett's body would reject the lung. By now, his body was just too weak, though his spirit was so strong. I remember being in my 2nd hour drama class when we all heard the news. Words like shock and devistating just don't describe the feeling. I don't think any words can. We were all so young, our lives were just beginning.. it was impossible to really believe that one of our friends wouldn't have a change to live that life. Oddly enough, I remember pulling up to the funeral home for the visitation. I remember Christa was with me, and I know at least a few other people we knew were there... but I just can't remember anything else about it. I guess its the whole selective memory thing. We all stopped at our graduation, less than a year later, to remember Brett, and I think almost all of us couldn't help but think that he should be sitting there with us. I should have been able to look a few chairs down and see him.. just as nervous and excited as the rest of us, ready to take on the world, but of course, he wasn't there. Or maybe, just maybe he was.

So, as they say, life goes on, and so do we. Brett lives on in our memories and our prayers, but really.. there are thousands of other kids out there with CF, just trying to LIVE. I hope that they will get to graduate with their class, to go on and live their lives. But that can't happen without medical research. And that's why I've asked you to sponsor me for this blog-a-thon.

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