The Boomer Esiason Foundation (BEF) announced that its cystic fibrosis (CF) ambassador, Jerry Cahill, has joined with Emily Schaller, a CF patient inspired by Cahill to start running and cycling in 2007, in the BEF’s 3rd Annual Bike to Breathe event, running now through Sept. 26.
The two are riding 600 miles along the West Coast, from San Francisco to San Diego, to raise awareness about CF, to promote the importance of exercising to CF patients, and to accomplish another of Cahill’s goals on his 60:60 Living List – a list of the 60 things he would like to accomplish this year, his 60th (his birthday was June 27). They will stop a few
times along the route to say hello and to speak to members of the CF community.
Age 60 is considered a milestone for people with CF – but that hasn’t stopped Cahill from setting and finishing goals. As a survivor of a double-lung transplant, he continues to want to spread the message that “you cannot fail.”
“We are excited to host the 2016 Bike to Breathe event on the West Coast. It is our hope that this ride will inspire people with CF to live an active life and reinforce that they can achieve whatever they put their mind to,” Cahill said in a press release.
Cahill is an inspiration to the CF community, and an advocate that people with CF can have normal lives through a strong commitment to exercise and medical compliance. He believes that exercise is the single most important thing in his life that helps him stay healthy.
As BEF’s CF Ambassador, Cahill leads its scholarships and grants division, and has also founded Team Boomer – a group of athletes encouraging exercise among CF patients while raising money to support BEF scholarships. He is also founder and leader of the program You Cannot Fail, and records educational podcasts and videos to encourage others to share their stories on Club CF.
CF patients have to spend considerable amount of time maintaining rigorous treatments and routines that include aerosolized steroids and bronchodilators, wearing vibrating vests to stimulate mucus and taking supplements and medications — vitamins to antibiotics. Due to the excess mucus build-up, CF patients’ lungs often conceal antibiotic-resistant bacteria that challenge their strength in staying committed to their treatment plans every day.
Cahill wants to raise $3 million to support people living with CF through scholarships, education and research. You can follow updates on his 60:60 project on social media, using the hashtag #LivingList.