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Worth Fighting For


Before I dive into what Pulmonary Fibrosis is and why it’s a cause so close to my heart, please know that the timing of this post is not ideal. I currently live in Houston, and I know that raising awareness and funds for anything other than the victims of Harvey (and now Irma) may seem insensitive – but I promise you it’s nothing like that. September has always been Pulmonary Fibrosis Awareness Month, and as a child of a current patient who struggles with this disease, being vocal and bringing comfort to all those effected is a huge priority of mine. My hope is that you take a few minutes to read why this post and fundraising effort means the world to my family – and know that whether you listen, donate, or share I am TRULY grateful.

In 2013 my mother, Susan, was diagnosed with Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis. A disease that in the simplest of terms impacts her oxygen levels due to scarred lung tissue. As the scarring gets worse, she has greater difficulty breathing during everyday activities such as walking and going up the stairs. My mom, however, is one of the fortunate ones. She has been on new medications that have helped keep her somewhat stable, versus others whose health has deteriorated at a more rapid pace.

But here’s the problem- there is currently no cure for those struggling with Pulmonary Fibrosis. The 200,000 patients living with this disease (each year) are doing everything they can to lead healthier, more comfortable lives but with no solution in sight. Some are fortunate to receive a lung transplant, but for the most part the disease is fatal two to five years once you receive the diagnosis.

This is the second year in a row I am campaigning for the PF Foundation, an organization I truly trust. One that is just as passionate about fighting this disease and finding a cure as I am. Last year I raised $400, but this year (with the help of some new friends) I am hoping to make it to $1000.

For me, this is personal. It’s about my mom. A woman who I very much rely on and text almost daily for advice. A woman who deserves to have as many amazing moments with her family as possible. My goal is to give her that, along with every other loved one battling this disease.

So how can you make a difference?

[if !supportLists]1. [endif]You can share. Building awareness is what September is all about, as the majority of Americans do not even know that PF exists. So bringing it to light and making it more focal throughout the community could have a huge impact on the foundation.

[if !supportLists]2. [endif]You can donate. I set up the link below to share my mother’s story and support the mission of the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation. All donations go towards additional research and making patients, like my mother, lead more knowledgeable and comfortable lives with this disease. I promise you that every cent counts, which is why I am only asking for $5 per person / family. Trust me, your support and generosity mean the world.

PF x MI Fundraising Page

[if !supportLists]3. [endif]You could purchase. I couldn’t be more grateful that two talented friends of mine offered to help me this year. Dottie M Designs and Cellar Designs have both created memorable and meaningful pieces that benefit the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation. Rachel provides her customers with outstanding quality when it comes to embroidery, so I was honored when she created the “Make Every Breath Count” wall hanging below. Sarah, who is know for her hand lettering and watercolor artwork, designed a “Just Breathe” art print that is simple and yet so beautiful. Both items showcase that we are all in this together, and that there is a community of people wanting to provide love and hope to families affected by PF.

I should also mention that these creative entrepreneurs / friends of mine are doing this out of the goodness of their heart, and I can’t possibly thank them enough. Please click on the pictures below and it will take you right to their shop to purchase. Both items are limited edition and will only be sold through September 30, 2017 in honor of Pulmonary Fibrosis Awareness Month.

Lastly, to my Mom- I am quite sure you are not going to love how public I am making your story. But know that it’s the only way I can gain additional funds and fight this battle with you. I want you around for every birthday, every holiday, and every crazy moment in between. The thought of losing you breaks my heart and so this needed to be done. I want you and every loved one going through this to keep fighting and know that there is hope. We are going to make a difference and we are going to find a cure. I love you, more than you will probably ever realize.

Thank you to the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation for your ongoing support, my family, close friends, Dottie M Designs, Cellar Designs, and new readers… Every one of us has a cause that’s close to our heart and I appreciate you taking the time to be a part of mine.

If you have any questions or need any additional information, please email me at cristina@merchantinspired.com.

Here’s to crushing our fundraising goal, raising awareness, and helping all those who are living with PF. Let’s do this…

With Love, Cristina

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Taken last week by a dear friend of mine, Melissa... #BlueUp4PF

Dottie M Designs: $35 Embroidery on Canvas

Cellar Designs: $18 Art Print

A wreath I had made here in Texas that is on my door every September...

Another favorite capture of my mom and I...