Pipeline to a Cure, 2009, came and went and it was INCREDIBLE. Feel free to click on the label to see previous posts leading up to this one. The event was a huge success, and I'm sorry to my few and faithful blog readers for being so behind in sharing about it. This is going to be a long blog post (so much to share!!!) so get ready for some rambling, hehe :) The event was on July 18th, 2009, and it was an AMAZING night raising a total of $300,000 for Cystic Fibrosis Research!! We had 600 people in attendance at the Hyatt Regency in Huntington Beach, auctioned off some great trips and auction items, enjoyed an evening with Laird Hamilton and Dave Kalama as the hosts and got to hang out with various surf stars in attendance. It was a night to remember and for me, a night that has taken me over a month to really process and pray about because it was such a big night for me.
While yes, it's a dream come true to spend an evening with surf legends and stars, it is much deeper for me as I watch hundreds of people give their money, time and support to research that is so vital to the length and quality of my life with CF, it is one of the most humbling experiences I've ever had. Even now as I type this, tears form in my eyes because I think of the generosity and love that people poured out that night for me and many with CF....It was unreal and I am incredibly grateful.
I was the speaker that night so people not only got to know me, but got to know the REAL me as I felt God had led me to be open and honest about the depth of CF and it's affect on me not only physically but emotionally as well. As an adult with CF, I am truly grateful for the responsibility and joy it is to represent the CF community because as I stood up there and shared my heart for 15 minutes, I knew that the thousands with CF would be benefiting because they too, would be blessed with research from the money raised that night.
It's a night that is exciting and scary for me all at the same time because I talked about the good parts about being a spokesperson for this event (hanging with Laird and company ;) and the difficult parts about being an adult with CF- wondering what my future will hold, how long I will be healthy, will someone ever want to be in a relationship with a girl with CF??? Etc... It was a deep speech, something I had never done before. Last year's speech was filled with childhood memories, my love for surfing and my history as a woman with CF...and this year, I felt God call me to share more of my heart, and what's been happening this past year. And if you've been around on this blog much you've noticed that this past year has not been easy. I've spent more time in the hospital this year than previous years, and been faced with many decisions that come along with being an adult- how do I support myself financially (for example). Sharing this with 600 people was quite an experience and as soon as I stood up on that stage I KNEW that it was the presence of the holy spirit giving me words and courage to stand up there, it wasn't me. I was calm and ready, and my prayer is that my words ministered to the hearts of people there.
So as I reflect back (im sure more rambling will come), I am filled with gratitude and amazing memories of that night. I loved spending time at such a special night with my family and friends! I feel so much love from the 600 people around me that night and the support raised emotionally and financially has changed me. I feel blessed to be God's instrument and used for His glory, and I feel the joy of representing the CF community and knowing that my story is being used for good. I feel excitement in knowing that someday a cure for CF can be found and that I worked hard to see that happen, and most of all, I am thankful to God that I am alive to be a part of all this, I know it's in His plans for me to be here (gosh, this sounds like an oscar's speech ;).
Check out some pics from the night, and I'll probably be posting more random stories and thoughts as time goes on. This event has played such a huge role in growing me and changing me that I can't help but talk about it :)