Teen rallies support for Cystic Fibrosis

Ethan Mix smiles alongside his mom Karida Calkins.

Photo courtesy of Maddi Calkins.

Ethan Mix smiles alongside his mom Karida Calkins.

Sandra Kinney, Features Editor

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  Doctors diagnosed Ethan Mix with cystic fibrosis when he was 2 years old. Ten years later he is still fighting his battle as a 6th grader at McGhee Elementary School, despite a prediction that he wouldn’t live to the age of 12.  
   Having reached age 12, that prediction has become more and more of a reality to him and his family.    
   Cystic fibrosis is a progressive, genetic disease that causes persistent lung infections and limits the ability to breathe over time, according to cysticfibrosisfoundation.org.
   When she first found out about his diagnosis, Ethan’s sister Maddi Calkins was 7 years old. She felt shocked and confused, as any small child would.   
   But Calkins, now a junior at LHS, has hope. She is doing everything she can to make sure that her brother feels love in the time that he has left. Don’t fear, she said in an interview with the Purr, there is a light at the end of this tunnel.
  In August, Calkins will host a fun-run to benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Here’s the catch: Ethan has no idea she’s doing it. The event is a total surprise.
   Clearwater Medical Clinic is sponsoring the event, and helping Calkins fund the project. The run will be held at Kiwanis Park in Lewiston. All members of the community are invited to walk, run or jog for the cause.
  Growing up with this disease has not been easy for Ethan or for any individuals in a similar situation. Since there is no cure for cystic fibrosis, Ethan relies on about 36 pills a day, or 12 pills every meal, to make it through the day.  These circumstances haven’t stopped him, though, and he has even played soccer every day since he was 9 years old.
  Community members can get involved in the cause in many ways, such as making and posting flyers around town, Calkins said.
Cheyenne Rose, LHS junior, plans to volunteer at the run.
   “I’m willing to do whatever I can to help, even if that means handing out cups of water as people run by,” Rose said.
   Calkins already has the support of many people in the community, but welcomes more. Calkins will also hold gatherings to make posters and T-shirts for the event.
   “I can’t do this on my own,” she said. “I need all the help I can get.”
   Calkins hopes to encourage others with similar challenges as well.
   “You’ll make it, and you can get through it,” Calkins said. “Stuff happens but there is always hope. Don’t ever lose hope.”

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1 Comment

One Response to “Teen rallies support for Cystic Fibrosis”

  1. Amy Fleury on September 22nd, 2017 3:27 am

    So proud of you Maddi for doing this for your brother!! ❤ You guys have an amazing family!!

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