#GoMatchyMatchy, meet Pam!

14991344_10154643922012416_4443433946586554567_oHappy New Year! We are looking forward to a GREAT year for the Cystic Fibrosis Association of North Dakota. Every day we work towards helping our friends with CF to breathe easier—physically, financially and emotionally.

As a lead up to Giving Hearts Day 2017—an online, statewide giving day- On February 9, we are going to take the next month to help you get to know us a lot better!

Today we will introduce you to our Development Director, Pam Thompson, as she encourages you to #GoMatchyMatchy with her!

Q: How long have you worked for CFA?

I started at CFA a few months after my twin daughters turned three-years-old. Before starting at CFA I had been mostly a stay at home mom for the better part of 16 years! My twins turn 7 in just a few weeks, so that means I have been serving the cystic fibrosis community in North Dakota for nearly 4 years!

Q: What do you find the most challenging about working for CFA?

I think the hardest thing is to know that I am working to help people live with a disease that currently has no cure. There is great promise in treatment for CF, but it is really, really hard for me to see people suffer. I’m a problem solver by nature and I feel like I want to “fix” CF—which is no simple task. Everyone with CF works through things differently as well, so I try to meet people where they are at. CF also has a tremendous financial burden on families—so my challenge is to raise more and more funds so that we can do more good. It is a big job, and it is never truly finished

Q: When you tell your friends and family that you work for CFA, what do they say or ask?

The first thing people ask me when I tell them where I work is whether I know a friend or family member who has CF. I always respond that I only had a passing knowledge of CF before working here, but now some of my favorite people are living with CF. The Cystic Fibrosis Association really is like family, and the members that we serve are VERY dear to me.

Q:  What are 3 words you would use to describe CFA?

Family. Caring. Helping.

Q: Tell us about a moment you loved your job.

I always feel exhilarated at the end of a fundraising event such as Holiday Homes of Hope or the Turkey Trot or one of our golf tournaments. But the most rewarding moments are when I talk to the CF moms—they are the most special people and I watch them walk a difficult path. But when they thank me for the hard work that I put in—it means the world to me. Everything I do at work is for these families—and when that is noticed—it makes all of the long hours and crazy holiday times worth it!

Q: If a donor made a $30,000 donation and asked you to decide how the money would be used, what would you do?

Well, first I would cry. But then I would work on developing a CF-friendly lounge for people with CF to safely spend time together. CF can be extremely socially isolating—since individuals with CF can pass harmful bacteria back and forth. I dream of developing a space in which there was proper air ventilation and the like so that people with CF could spend time socially with each other – just like their non-CF counterparts. I’m not even sure if there is such a thing, but it is something I would LOVE to see happen!

Q: Who are you going to ask to #GoMatchyMatchy with you?

I want to encourage all of my mom friends to #GoMatchyMatchy with me! I know that all of us dread having to deal with illness in our home and we can relate to the fears and struggles of the CF moms. We all want to see healthy kids and family members!

Q: How are you going to match?

I always donate to CFA on Giving Hearts Day, but this year I am contributing matching funds ahead of Giving Hearts Day to be used as matching funds—it may not be a lot, but even little donations can add up!

Q: How can people who want to be involved join in?

I thought you would never ask! If you want to contribute matching funds—contact me at the CFA Office: 701.222.3998. OR, mark your calendars for Thursday. February 9, 2017, and then log in to impactgiveback.org and donate to CFA (and many other charities as well!). I also would ask you to spread the word! If CFA has touched your life in some way, please share this opportunity to help our friends to #BreatheEasier with others! Together we can make a HUGE difference in the life of someone with CF.

Q: What might someone be surprised to know about you?

Most people are shocked to know that I have six kids! My oldest is 20 and my youngest are those almost 7-year-old twins I talked about earlier! I don’t find six kids and a full-time career that surprising, but others do!

Q: What do you do when you are not working?

I’m a blogger, and a speaker, and I love teaching other people about social media. But my latest obsession is crochet! I have been playing with yarn for almost a year now and I am ADDICTED!

Q: What is the best book you ever read?

Well, the Bible, of course, but outside of that, it is a toss up! I’m an avid reader, so I read a lot of books! But, I’m currently reading the Little House on the Prairie books with my girls and for now, those are my favorite! They lead to so much discussion and they help me realize how very easy my life is now!

Q: Do you have a favorite quote?

My motto is, “Ora et Labora”, which is Latin for pray and work, which finds its origins in the Rule of St. Benedict.  My life is not always as contemplative as I would like, but this motto does serve as a guide and a reminder of what is important vocationally.

ghd_logo_ribbonTo learn more about CFA and our services, visit CFANorthDakota.com

Mark your calendar for Giving Hearts Day—February 9, 2017—at impactgiveback.org

Pam can be reached at development.cfa@midconetwork.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Kids Helping Kids

A few weeks ago, at our Annual Run/Walk in memory of Sonia Balliet-Heidenreich, a sweet little 7 year old approached me, carrying an envelope.ella-donation

This little girl, Ella, is the daughter of one of Sonia’s best friends. Ella did not get to grow up knowing Sonia, who suffered from, and eventually died from cystic fibrosis–but her mother, Gena, has worked tirelessly to keep Sonia’s memory alive.

Through the years since Sonia’s death, Gena has raised thousands of dollars for the Cystic Fibrosis Association of North Dakota. These dollars have helped people living with CF to #BreatheEasier through direct financial support for medications, travel to and from medical appointments, college tuition assistance, and lung fund matching funds.

As the saying goes, little eyes have been following Gena, and her daughter, at the tender age of 7, wanted to help out too! She let her mom know that she was going to give her very own money–$12.57 to be exact, to help others living with CF.ella

Gena’s example of generosity, and of supporting a charity that is in line with her passions has successfully been passed on to her daughter!

We applaud Ella for her sweet, generous spirit! We want her to know that the money she so selflessly gave will go towards helping little girls her age!

Thank you, Ella, for helping our friends with cystic fibrosis to #BreatheEasier!

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Meet Addie: 2015/16 CFA Youth Ambassador!

Addie’s mom, Jess, was kind enough to write these words about Addie.

Adalyn (Addie) was born March 3, 2010 and has been lighting up Mike’s and my lives ever since.

Addie’s cystic fibrosis 2000-01-01 00.01.24story starts at birth. She was born just before 11:00 PM and was taken to the nursery shortly thereafter where she was monitored and showed her first symptoms of Cystic Fibrosis, which was later confirmed in the newborn screening. Addie spent her first night undergoing x-rays and tests unbeknownst to us. Cystic Fibrosis was one of the diagnoses her pediatrician suspected early on due to her symptoms after birth and he immediately went into action to find answers.   Addie spent a week in the NICU due to a fever from an unknown source and to watch for any additional symptoms. We received the definitive CF diagnosis when Addie was released from the hospital at 1 week old.Read More »

Austin Huus, 2014/2015 Youth Ambassador

Written by Austin’s mother, Lisa.
Austin was born on January 6, 2009 with Meconium ileus and ended up in ICU before his discharge. It was there that we were told he possibly had CF, which we later learned was the case.
He spent 18 days in ICU and we began our journey learning about cystic fibrosis and caring for someone who has it. Austin has two DeltaF508 genes and has both respiratory and digestive issues with his CF.  He takes a whole list of oral and nebulized medications throughout the day to maintain his CF, along with chest physiotherapy twice a day. Treatments have been forced to every four hours when respiratory illnesses take a hold on Austin. He has taken part in two clinical trials to help doctors find new treatments and medicines for those with CF.Austin

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CFA Spotlight: Ashlee

Ashlee looks like any other college student; blonde haired and bubbly, this nursing student appears to be the picture of health.Ashlee, Breathe Easier

The truth is, Ashlee has to work just as hard to stay healthy as she does to keep her grades up. Ashlee has cystic fibrosis, a life-threatening genetic disease that causes a thick, sticky mucous that clogs the lungs and blocks enzymes from being released from the pancreas. CF is often thought of as just a lung disease, but the more we find out about this condition we know that it affects nearly every body system.Read More »