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Local BB&T events to benefit Cystic Fibrosis Foundation

Nick Moore, a lifetime Carroll County resident, was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis at 3 months old. The lung disease involves a defective gene that makes the body produce thick mucus, clogging the lungs, according to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation website.

"I took 20 or 30 pills a day and had two or three nebulizer treatments," Moore said. "Mild activities were difficult and day-to-day things were tasking. It was always hard to breathe."

According to Maren Blum, the senior director of development for the Maryland chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, this disease is life-threatening and affects 30,000 children and adults in the United States. The predicted median age of survival for a person with Cystic Fibrosis is in the late-30s, she said.

Moore, 33, said that he considers himself lucky to be doing so well. After receiving a double lung transplant in 1999, Moore said that he is breathing better and only sees his Cystic Fibrosis doctor once a year instead of every three months.

"Anyone with Cystic Fibrosis will need a lung transplant at some point in their lives," Moore said. "My case is considered to be way beyond expectations."

According to the Maryland chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Moore is among the 1,000 Maryland residents currently diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis. Out of those, 500 are patients at the Johns Hopkins Children Center and 480 are young adults.

The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is working with local BB&T Banks to raise money and find a cure for Moore and the others living with Cystic Fibrosis, Blum said.

According to Blum, there is a leader at BB&T that has a connection to Cystic Fibrosis. For that reason, she said, BB&T is constantly approaching the foundation with fundraising opportunities.

"The Foundation's mission is to find a cure for Cystic Fibrosis and to improve the quality of life for people living with the disease," Blum said. "The money we raise will go toward life-saving treatment and cure research."

Each BB&T branch in Carroll County is working to raise $2,000 with a stretch goal of $2,500, said Christopher Rupert, area executive for BB&T.

"Our branches have gotten really excited and creative with the fundraising," Rupert said. "We are letting them run with whatever community event they think will help."

It means a lot to those living with Cystic Fibrosis and their loved ones to have something like this, Moore said. It gives people a chance to actively fight against the disease and earn money for a cure.

The fundraising started mid-February and runs through March, said Judy Kowall, financial center leader at the Manchester branch.

"So far the branch has had a bake sale, collected donations from clients and placed change jars around town," Kowall said. "We have also collected donations from local businesses that are going into a basket raffle."

Tickets for the basket will be sold at the Manchester branch and at Miller's Market on March 24. The drawing will be on March 30.

The basket includes pizza guitar strings from Hess Music, a gift certificate to Golden Nail and Tan, a private session at Smart Music Studio, four mixes from Jill's Jams, Mixes & More, a wine tasting event for eight at Cygnus Wine Cellar and other donations from local businesses.

"The employees have been volunteering their own time and effort during the day to make the fundraising events a success," said Joanna Lindstedt, financial center leader for the Hampstead branch. "It has been so exciting to see us come together, not only as a branch team, but also as a community."

The Hampstead BB&T is sponsoring a Cut-a-Thon from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. on March 24 at Serenity Hair Studio. The salon owner, Lynn Reed, is donating all the day's proceeds to the cause, Lindstedt said. There will also be a DJ, face painting, bake sale and local vendors. The vendors are donating a 10 percent minimum of proceeds to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, she said.

The Hampstead Branch is also holding an Annual Golf Tournament to raise funds. The event will be held at Oakmont Green Golf Course on March 24. The green fee is $50, which includes dinner, and prizes will be awarded for longest drive, closest to the pin and and putting skill, Lindstedt said.

"With 50 branches fundraising in Carroll County and Baltimore County, we are hoping to raise a total of $100,000," Rupert said. "As an organization, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation doesn't receive any government funding. The organization really depends on these donations."

All the branches in Sykesville, Westminster, Mount Airy, Taneytown, and Finksburg will also be fundraising.

BB&T's fundraising will culminate in a Spring Swing event at The Hyatt in Baltimore on March 30, Rupert said. Various levels of sponsorship donations are available to pay for invitations and seating.

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