On May 11, a Cranston family whose son has cystic fibrosis will be participating in the Great Strides walk, which raises awareness for the condition and supports the work of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. The walk is taking place at Slater Park in Pawtucket.
Sue Paugh and her family, including her son Max, have been participating in the walk for 11 years. According to Paugh, they have raised a total of more than $30,000.
She said that as long as Max – who is 11 and attends Park View Middle School – is healthy, “he attends the walk every year.”
“His goal is to one year reach $5,000 raised for the walk,” she said. “Today we raised $3,500 so far. His team name is Friends of Max.”
In an email, Paugh said cystic fibrosis is a “life-threatening, genetic disease that affects the lungs and digestive system.” She said that Max was diagnosed with the disease just 10 days after he was born. Paugh added that a routine newborn screening at the time found there were “signals” of the condition, such as weight loss and not being able to digest food.
Paugh said the first two years were “rough”. She said Max was in and out of the hospital, but when he turned 2 years old, he no longer was staying at the hospital. She said Max gets sick easily and seems to “catch everything going around.”
“Two weeks ago he battled the flu,” she said, “and had to be rushed to the hospital for his breathing.”
As for treatment, her son must take Creon for help digesting his food when he eats. She said that he does a “vest treatment” on a daily basis, which breaks up the mucus that his body cannot, and takes an additional five medications daily, along with another on a weekly basis. However, his family helps him out with this.
“Max is the youngest of four,” she said. “His three siblings are teenagers and all help out with Max and his treatments.”
Paugh said Max looks like a healthy child and that “nothing gets him down.” He loves the New England Patriots, video games, and Hunter, his dog. Max also plays basketball for CLCF.
The Great Strides walk is taking place at Slater Park in Pawtucket on Saturday, May 11. The walk begins at 11 a.m. and check-in starts at 10 a.m. It is a 5K walk.
Donations can be made for the Friends of Max team, and there is no minimum amount to fundraise. For more information, visit fightcf.cff.org.