All it takes is “65 Roses” in making “Great Strides” towards a cure!

HMIP, philanthropy

Among the happiest moments in my life, was finding out that I was going to become a mommy. Prenatal care and examinations are routine and important in safe-guarding the health of your unborn baby, as well as, the mother’s.

One of the tests that your OB/GYN may request is that of genetic carrier testing for Cystic Fibrosis (CF). It is a fairly simple exam done by the laboratory where either blood or saliva samples are taken and tested. This exam is for the purpose of finding whether or not the baby is at risk for being born with CF. I had my doctor test me twice.

The first time the results came back, I couldn’t believe it. How could it be possible? From what I knew about Cystic Fibrosis was that it was prevalent in Caucasians (read: white people whose ancestors are from Europe). As a Hispanic woman, I couldn’t wrap my head around being that 1 in 46 Hispanics in the US that is a carrier.

Two times, at two different labs, I had blood taken and examined. Both results were the same. It was official, I am a carrier of Cystic Fibrosis. For a few weeks I worried and prayed that my baby would be born healthy. I felt guilty and afraid.

I met with my OB/GYN and asked about finding a way to know if my baby would be okay. I wanted to know for certain that she would be. I did not want to go through amniocentesis- it never sounded like a “painless” procedure. I knew that regardless, I would love and care for my daughter all the same. Still, I just wanted to prepare myself to best help her live a happy life if the worst happend.

My doctor followed up my exam with that of my ex-fiance. My daughter’s father was also tested to see if he was a carrier of this degenerative disease. We already knew one factor, that I am a carrier, but to pass on CF, both parents must be carriers. When these test results came in, I was over-joyed, grateful and blessed that her father was not a carrier of CF. Our daughter would now have a better chance at being born unaffected by Cystic Fibrosis. Thank God!

What is Cystic Fibrosis? To put it best, I found this concise explanation for you: “Cystic fibrosis (CF) is the most common, fatal genetic disease in the United States. About 30,000 people in the United States have the disease. CF causes the body to produce thick, sticky mucus that clogs the lungs, leads to infection, and blocks the pancreas, which stops digestive enzymes from reaching the intestine where they are required in order to digest food.” (Source: ;National Genome Human Research Institute)

Can you imagine what it would be like to have difficulty breathing?

This year marks my fourth year in personally donating to and advocating for the Cystic Fibrosis Fo1qundation (CFF) and their efforts to find a cure. This will be my second year fundraising for our local CFF’s Great Strides Walk. The CFF 2012 Great Strides Walk in Miami will be held on April 28th, 2012. For more information about this event, click on the logo below to go to my personal donations page.

What you don’t know yet, is that in college, my sorority’s adopted philanthropy is the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, or “65 Roses” as many children know it and as we called it. Together with my chapter and Philanthropy Chairwoman, we successfully put on unique events to raise funding for CFF.

All the while, I pitched in hands-on because of my passion for helping others, events and my letters (read: sorority). I had NO idea that one day in the future I would find that my contributions would be somewhat “self-serving.” Yes, self-serving. Thanks to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, today, we are much closer to finding a cure and that means that my grandchildren have a better outlook from where I’m standing.

All causes I rally your support for are equally as important. But finding a cure for Cystic Fibrosis has a special place in my heart. Please take a moment to open your heart and make a secure and charitable online donation at: Iliana’s Official Donation Page

I am grateful for your continued support!

Iliana Taleno Swain is Miami’s up and coming Social Events Planner. She is an expert in designing events that create everlasting impressions. Former Visual Brand Marketing Manager in the Fashion Industry she specialized in VIP Client social events. As a mom-preneur herself, Iliana is now helping busy housewives, moms and professionals create impressive events. Trust her training and expertise to design an incredible event that will impress you, your guests and on occasion, your clients, too! Contact her today for a complimentary Event Consultation: events@ilianatalenoandassoc.com | 305.482.1211

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