By Liz Heidelberg
As research and treatments for Cystic Fibrosis improve, so does the quality of life for those who have this genetic disorder notorious for creating thick mucus in the lungs. Exercise is now believed to play a key role in CF treatment. The community is invited to support these and future advances in CF treatment when the 3rd Annual Rock Away Cystic Fibrosis Music Festival returns to Downtown Bryan on May 14.
This benefit concert raises money for the Beau Means Business Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing Cystic Fibrosis awareness in the Bryan/College Station community. Named for Beau Varner, son of executive director Zack Varner, the foundation offers programs and support for those diagnosed with CF in the Brazos Valley. The foundation also funds CF research.
Last year’s festival raised enough money for BMBF to fully fund the CF Fit program. The thick, sticky mucus that characterizes CF causes mucus build-up in the lungs making breathing difficult. Exercise programs can assist in clearing mucus from the lungs, in turn decreasing lung infections and exacerbations. The CF Fit Program provides an annual $500 grant to individuals with CF in the community to use for exercise purposes.
Lizzie Gorman and her sister, Bailey Gorman, both have CF. “It’s a great program, and Zack Varner always reaches out to me and Bailey and asks how we’re doing,” says Lizzie Gorman. “Zack is very proactive about trying to help anyone he knows that has CF.
“The CF Fit program has definitely helped me a lot,” adds Lizzie, a Texas A&M University alumna. “If I hadn’t been going to the gym, I definitely would have been knocked down more.”
In addition to funding the CF Fit program, last year’s festival generated enough money to expand BMFB’s mission to include funding CF research. BMBF donated $1,000 to CysticLife, a community-driven organization that focuses on replacing CF treatment sessions with exercise.
CysticLife is partnering with the Mayo Clinic to evaluate which exercises are most beneficial for people with CF, how long workouts should be for optimal results, and whether or not daily exercise can replace sessions of chest percussion therapy to loosen and remove excess mucus. With this data, healthcare professionals will be able to prescribe exercise to patients and educate CF patients about the types of physical activity that have the most beneficial results.
Last year’s festival also allowed BMBF to donate $1,000 to the Sharktank Research Foundation to help fund the development of Indrepta, a safe, affordable and natural supplement that improves lung health in CF patients.
For more information about the Beau Means Business Foundation and Cystic Fibrosis programs, visit www.bmbfoundation.org.
If You Go
Gates for the Rock Away Cystic Fibrosis Music Festival will open at 2:30pm; music starts at 3pm. This year’s lineup will include Grammy nominated singers John Fullbright and Andrew Duhon, Maggie Koerner, Jordan York, and the band Spur of the Moment.
In addition to live music, there also will be a silent auction, food trucks, and a kid’s activity zone. For more information on the Rock Away Cystic Fibrosis Festival, purchase tickets or t-shirts, or make a donation, visit www.bmbfoundation.org.
Anyone planning to stay the night for the festival can receive a discount from The LaSalle Hotel in Downtown Bryan, which is located less than a block from the Palace Theater. Mention the Rock Away Cystic Fibrosis Festival to receive a discount on rooms. Visit www.lasalle-hotel.com to book a room.
Palace Theater in Downtown Bryan
General admission is $15 in advance or $20 at the gate; reserve at www.bmbfoundation.org.