I am 15 years old and I have cystic fibrosis. I am now in those critical teenage years when CF does its greatest damage. My care includes 50 pills and two half-hour respiratory physical therapy treatments each day as well as ongoing visits to Children's Hospital Colorado. Our family and friends have always been unbelievably supportive, especially my big brother, Jake, who is always there to stand up for me.
I ride because I love Children's Hospital Colorado and all that Dr. Frank Accurso, MD, Professor of Pediatrics, Pulmonology Section Head, and Medical Director of the Core Laboratory at Children's Clinical Translational Research Center, and the incredible cystic fibrosis center staff do to keep me healthy, active and pursuing my dreams. Last year, I raised over $70,000 in the Courage Classic thanks to the generous support of family, friends and even strangers that were touched by the story. I am especially thankful to Scott Kennedy, Julie Price and all of my teammates on the Cherry Creek Insurance Group Team.
This year I intend to ride over 1,000 miles in 43 days around Colorado to thank Children's Hospital Colorado for keeping me healthy and to encourage other kids with disabilities to remain physically active and pursue their dreams. We will cross the finish line on the first day of the Courage Classic.
My ultimate dream is to be the first person with Cystic Fibrosis to compete in the Olympic games as the goalie for the USA hockey team. Today, I am a goalie for the Arapahoe Warriors Midget Minor hockey team with only one league loss this year and first place in three tournaments. I am also a double black diamond skier and snowboarder, long boarder and try to stay active in many sports. I owe the fact that I can compete at this level to the care that I receive from the Children's Hospital Colorado CF team.
Why Pink Lightning? I love hockey and realized years ago that I really would not have the lung capacity to skate up and down the ice with as much stamina as others, so I decided to play goalie where my quickness is more important and lung capacity is less important. My goalie coach gave me the nickname "Pink Lightning" because of the pink goalie pads that I wore and because of my lightning quickness.
Please donate to my ride and join our Pink Lightning Team.
What I've Achieved—The 2013 Courage Classic... and playing "between the pipes"
In 2013, my father Steve and I completed the Courage Classic. It was three days of sunshine and smiles, 135 miles of biking among 2200 riders. We made lots of new friends and it was one of the most memorable experiences of my life.
Raised a record $74,000 – the most by any rider in the 24 year history of the Courage Classic.
As part of the Cherry Creek Insurance Group team, we raised over $80,000—which will fully fund Dr. Accurso's Microbiome project and paid for half of the salary for a Research Coordinator to accelerate the clinical trials. Both of these projects will have a direct impact on me and others like me.
- I completed the Courage Classic's 135 miles with the help of teammates and friends. I stopped at the top of Swan Mountain and one other time when my lungs tightened up but got back on the bike to finish every mile.
My 2013-2014 Arapahoe Warriors Midget Minor hockey team is in first place with a 17-1-2 record and has won three tournaments. I have a Goals Against Average (GAA) of 1.44 per game and a Save Percentage (SV) of 0.918 and am one of the leading goalies in the state.