Saturday, August 08, 2009

Unleash Your Story—August 31-September 28

Unleash Your Story brings writers and readers together to raise funds and awareness for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. The concept is simple—we are harnessing the power of story to make a difference for the tens of thousands of kids and adults living with this fatal genetic disease.

The power of story

From the first time you skipped through the woods with Little Red Riding Hood or climbed that beanstalk with Jack, you were experiencing the power of story. Using this force you can travel far beyond the realms of trains, planes or automobiles and there are no worries about today's price at the pump. A story can transport you to far off galaxies, or the Old West. Hunting submarines or whales. Stowing away on a pirate ship, or across the River Styx.

Stories can provide hope, love and laughter even when those things may be missing from your reality. A good yarn is not just an escape, it can inspire, encourage and give you the fortitude to face the challenges life throws at you.

The writer's imagination packs the story with tremendous force. Like a stick of dynamite, however, a book is inert until the reader lights the fuse and releases the energy within.

Now imagine hundreds of readers and writers coming together to harness the power of story. This is the concept behind the Unleash Your Story: Make a Difference write-a-thon/read-a-thon. With many readers and writers each doing a little, we can make a big difference.
The reality

Cystic fibrosis is a genetic disease that affects the lungs and digestive system of about 30,000 children and adults in the U.S. and 70,000 worldwide. A defective gene and its protein product cause the body to produce unusually thick, sticky mucus that clogs the lungs and leads to life-threatening lung infections. This same mucus obstructs the pancreas and stops natural enzymes from helping the body break down and absorb food. To combat these issues people with CF depend on many drugs and supplements to survive.

In the 1950s, few children with cystic fibrosis lived to attend elementary school. Today, advances in research and medical treatments have enhanced and extended life for children and adults with CF. Many people with the disease can now expect to live into their 30s, 40s and beyond. The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation works to find better treatments and, ultimately, a cure for this fatal illness. (Information from the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation website
Even with the advances we've seen over the last several decades the story of cystic fibrosis is grim for tens of thousands of kids and adults suffering from this disease and the hundreds of thousands of people who love them. Working together we can help change the story by bringing improved treatment and the hoped for cure closer to reality.

How you can help

Each Unleash Your Story participant sets a reading or writing goal and asks friends, family and fans to donate to CFF in support of their goal. It's sort of like a walk-a-thon, except there is no knocking on doors or wearing out sneakers. Instead you sit in your favorite reading or writing spot and crank out the pages!

Unleash Your Story runs from August 31 through September 28, 2009. Our fearless leaders in the 2009 campaign are Lori Wilde , Pacesetter Author and Michelle Buonfiglio , Pacesetter Reader. We'll have fun prizes for those who keep up with our pacesetters as well as incentives for reaching certain reading, writing and fund raising goals.

Last year Unleash Your Story raised over $11,000 for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Our goal this year is to more than double that amount to $23,000. With your help we can reach this goal!

The Basics

What: Write-a-thon/Read-a-thon for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation

When: August 31-September 28. Registration starts in early August.

How to participate: 1) Register; 2) set a reading or writing goal; 3) set a fundraising goal; 4) form a team or work as an individual; 5) contact friends, relatives and fans and ask them to donate in support of your goal. All donations go directly to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and are tax deductible. No need for you to worry about collecting donations.

Please join us in unleashing your story for a great cause!