Think for a second about the joy of having a child, and then finding out they have a life-threatening genetic disorder. Cystic fibrosis is in that category. But there is a 5k race put on by Minnesota Twins pitcher Glen Perkins and his wife Alisha that gives hope.
7-year-old brothers Aidan and Mason Gagnon are typical twins in every way. But Aidan's typical routine is different and includes a respiratory treatment 30 minutes twice every day.
“The treatment frees up the sticky mucus that's in his lungs," mom Jen Gagnon said. "There's sticky mucus that doesn't allow germs to flow through. It attracts bacteria and makes them more susceptible to illness and germs."
Cystic fibrosis has always been a scary diagnosis. Historically, children died as infants. And as recent as 1980, life expectancy was just 20 years old. But that’s quickly changing.
“When Aidan was born, the life expectancy was 35, now it's 41,” his dad Dean said. “There’s a lot of promising drugs in the pipeline and that's why we’re raising funds for someone to find that cure pill.”
And that's where a very famous baseball player, number 15 on the field, comes into the picture.
“We are trying to do our part to get to the finish line and get those kids a better chance in life,” Twins pitcher Glen Perkins said.
Perkins and his wife put on this 5k to raise money for cystic fibrosis research for kids and adults like Aidan. The race this year is happening on August 2.
“That is as much my wife as it is me,” Perkins said. “Alisha has a lot to do with that. She does the planning she's in the meetings."
They know Aidan and another little girl, Landry, who have cystic fibrosis, and were inspired to help.
“I think what the Twins community and what they do for their community is amazing, and Glen and Alisha with their work for the 5k, we are forever grateful,” Jen said.
And they are so very, very hopeful that the research community is near the finish line.
For more information on the Fifteen’s 5k click here.