Stephanie Brantley decided her fourth time running in the Augusta Half Marathon was the right time to raise awareness and money for cystic fibrosis, an inherited disease that affects her three children.
An avid runner, the Aiken resident waited until her three children – ages 21, 19 and 14 – were older and more comfortable with their mom speaking publicly about the life-threatening illness that causes thick, sticky mucus to build up in the lungs and digestive tract. The advent of a drug awaiting FDA approval called Kalydeco made this year the ideal time for Brantley to run for the cause.
“It’s always a better thing when they can come up with a drug that can keep my kids from going back to the hospital,” she said.
If approved, Kalydeco would be the first drug to treat the underlying cause of cystic fibrosis, a disease that affects more than 30,000 children and adults in the United States.
Brantley’s children have received treatment at the Georgia Health Sciences University Cystic Fibrosis Center for about 17 years, since the oldest was diagnosed.
With a $10,000 fundraising goal to benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and local research, Brantley can’t run the race alone. She is helping to organize a running team for the Feb. 26 half-marathon. Each runner must commit to a personal fundraising goal of $165. Brantley said runners can still sign up for the race.