According to Lee University Great Strides officials, the 20th annual Great Strides Walk and 18th annual 65 Roses 5k will take place on Saturday, Sept. 12, on Lee’s campus. The event, originally scheduled to take place this Saturday, has been postponed due to the threat of COVID-19.
“The health and safety of our community is top priority, while we all work to address the concerns related to the coronavirus outbreak.” said Leigh Ellington, executive director of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s Tennessee chapter. “We must all do our part to protect those more vulnerable at this time, including our CF Fighters.”
“The cystic fibrosis community is strong and full of resolve,” said Dr. Mike Hayes, vice president for student development at Lee and chair of the Cleveland Great Strides planning committee. “Their determination to change the lives of their loved ones fighting this disease is unending, and we will continue to stand with them in that fight. The 65 Roses 5k and Great Strides Walk at Lee University is simply rescheduled for a later date. We plan to be back on campus with all of our students and excited to host the Great Strides teams and 65 Roses runners.”
According to Ms. Ellington, the fortitude of the cystic fibrosis community continues to be shown, even in this more challenging and uncertain time. Self-isolation and extensive infection prevention and control measures are nothing new for individuals and their families living with cystic fibrosis. These have always been keys to health and safety for them. With the rest of the world now joining them in these measures, the cystic fibrosis community will lead the way in showing how physical social distancing does not have to eliminate social connections or the ability to show support for one another at a time where it is needed more than ever.
In place of the physical walk this Saturday, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s East Tennessee chapter will host a virtual walk day experience through its social media channels. Great Strides participants are encouraged to post their own videos walking or running using #TNStillStrides and #GreatStrides to show their support for all fighting cystic fibrosis.
“While we look forward to having everyone together for the walk and run at Lee later this year, we could not let our original Great Strides walk day pass without taking a moment to gather as a community and to show all of our CF Fighters and their families that we are thinking of them and are still here to support and care for them, even in this most challenging time,” said Ms. Ellington.
The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is a nonprofit donor-supported organization dedicated to attacking cystic fibrosis from every angle. Its focus is to support the development of new drugs to fight the disease, improve the quality of life for those with CF, and ultimately find a cure. In the last 30 years, the life expectancy of a child with CF has doubled, and research is happening daily to find a cure and develop drugs available to those living with CF.
For more information about the Cleveland Great Strides or 65 Roses 5K, visit http://www.leeuniversity.edu/cf.
For more information about the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, https://www.cff.org/.