A Breathe Easy Benefit

When talking with Nolan Courchesne, a 19 year old native of Chicopee MA, you begin to really understand the value of life. “Even if my life isn’t long, I want to accomplish as much as I can,” stated Nolan to our local Republican Newspaper. Nolan is just one of many who deal with Cystic Fibrosis, a genetic disease that causes mucus to build up and can clog some of the organs in the body, mainly the lungs. For Nolan, he has never known what it was like to breathe freely, and after his hospitalization this past winter, Nolan decided it was time to do something to raise awareness about his condition with Cystic Fibrosis.

Having Cystic Fibrosis is extremely limiting to what activities you can do. Nolan had told us that he used to be able to play baseball, one of his favorite sports, and now it’s not as easy to actively play. When the mucus builds up and clogs some of the organs, such as the lungs, it can make breathing very difficult. The constant build up of mucus can lead to inflammation and even infection that can ultimately damage parts of the organ its’ contained to.  Over 300,000 people suffer from Cystic Fibrosis currently and to date, there is no cure, which is why it is important to help raise awareness on the seriousness of this disease. As sited in the Republican, the median predicted age of survival is now 37.4 years, which has risen 5 years since 2000. Nolan, who refuses to be confined due to his condition, serves as an excellent example of how to make the most out of life. “People look at me like I’m a tough kid. I can’t lie down and give up and waste away” stated Nolan in the Republican. The idea of the benefit first sparked when Nolan first listened to the song “Breathe” created by Matt Scales. Matt, who wrote the song to capture what it’s like to live with Cystic Fibrosis, is no longer alive though his words live on through the lives he’s touched when he produced the song. “I wanted to do my part to raise awareness, and that’s why I started planning the Breathe Easy event” said Nolan.

With the help of his family and extensive amount of friends, Nolan put together the “Breathe Easy Fundraiser” to raise awareness of Cystic Fibrosis and to make a donation to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation to help researchers find a cure for this disease. “Growing up and not being able to play sports, like baseball, it was hard for me. I want to help kids in the future who go through the same condition as me, and contribute to finding a cure. To be able to play sports and be active without having to worry about having Cystic Fibrosis is something that I want young kids to be able to do.”

 The fundraiser was Nolan’s way of contributing to the Cystic Fibrosis Community, and was a huge success as the event raised over $10,000. With a successful turnout in attendance and beautiful New England weather, the Breathe Easy Benefit was surely an event to remember. It was easily accessible from all surrounding cities as it was held at the Summit View on Northampton St in Holyoke, MA. Entertainment was provided for all ages including two bounce houses for young children, horse drawn hay rides, face painting and even a massage station for all. Guests were encouraged to participate in ongoing games, an extensive Chinese raffle of donations and various musical performances all set the atmosphere for a good time. Food provided from Hamel’s Creative Catering left the guests fully satisfied with buffet style offerings of BBQ chicken, baked ziti, baked beans, fresh salad and rolls. Local bands Shades of Blue, The Shock Waves and the Glisten Effect kept the good times rolling as the event lasted from 1pm-10pm.

Ross Insurance was glad to help sponsor the event, and some of our team members even had the privilege of experiencing the fun first hand. We are extremely grateful that Nolan and his family have helped Ross Insurance to better understand why it is important to raise awareness for Cystic Fibrosis. With wisdom far exceeding his age, Nolan welcomed all guests to freely ask questions about his condition and encouraged all to help his efforts in donating to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. The event was a remarkable experience and we thank the Courchesne family for allowing us to be a part of it!

Explore posts in the same categories: Community Events, Outdoor Activities

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