Brian McPartland, a seventh-grader at Henry H. Wells Middle School, has spearheaded several initiatives that have raised public awareness and more than $7,500 to combat cystic fibrosis, a genetic disease he has had since birth. “My family has worked hard to help keep me healthy until a cure is found,” said Brian, “In sixth grade, I decided it was time for me to take a leadership role to help the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation find a cure for CF. I also wanted to help others that fight the daily battle of living with CF.”
To begin his mission, Brian organized a “Great Strides Walk” fund-raiser at his school, which attracted 100 walkers and yielded more than $2,500 for the foundation. Then he raised another $5,000 through a letter-writing campaign to family friends and other community members, which stressed how hard scientists are working to find a cure for CF and how much progress is being made.
In addition, Brian persuaded the Hudson Valley Renegades baseball team to sponsor a CF Awareness Night during one of its home games, where Brian handed out CF awareness wristbands purchased by the team and threw out the first pitch. The team also gave free tickets to CF patients and their families for games throughout the season. “I will always have cystic fibrosis, a disease in which only half the people live until they’re 30 years old, unless a cure is found,” said Brian.