Bringing CF awareness
In celebration of his 62nd birthday on June 27, Mr. Cahill decided that the century rides would be the perfect way "to bring awareness to the disease and to show people with CF that everything is possible."
He is an ambassador for the Boomer Esiason Foundation, an organization that raises money and awareness for CF. Prior to his ride to Montauk, Mr. Cahill was introduced to the well-wishers by Katherine Sneddon, a 23-year-old CF patient who is currently pursuing an advanced degree in physical therapy. Much like Mr. Cahill, Ms. Sneddon maintains that exercise contributes greatly to her positive mental attitude.
"Exercise is not only vital to staying healthy, but it also helps me stay engaged in my life," said Ms. Sneddon. "I'm so much more than a person with an illness. I'm an athlete."
The Levittown resident explained how a life spent playing soccer and lacrosse, and running track has kept her healthy.
"Like Jerry, it's helped me fight infection, clear my lungs and stay positive," she said. "I run marathons and participate in 5-borough bike tours. For me, exercise is medicine."
Joan DeCelie-Germana, MD, the pediatric pulmonologist who treats Ms. Sneddon at Cohen Children's, said that the hospital's Cystic Fibrosis Center has been providing comprehensive care to CF patients from infancy to adulthood for almost 50 years.
"The hospital is accredited by the National Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, a designation reserved for those centers that meet the highest standards in cystic fibrosis diagnosis, treatment, education and research," she said. "We are also designated as a research site for the CF Therapeutics Development Network - the largest CF clinical trials network in the world.