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6th Grapes & Grain Event March 18 in Voorhees to Help Fund Cure for Cystic Fibrosis
Local Residents with the Disease, Including Young Cherry Hill Sisters, Make Event Personal for Organizers
PHILADELPHIA, Feb. 23, 2016 – When Grayson Martinez of Cherry Hill was diagnosed one week after she was born with cystic fibrosis, a life-threatening genetic disease that primarily affects the lungs and digestive system, her family was devastated. When Gracie’s doctor suggested the entire family get tested, including her 9-year-old sister Caitlin, they braced for the worst.
Caitlin had been dealing with respiratory issues her whole life, and was frequently diagnosed with asthma or severe allergies. When testing revealed she too had CF, she asked, “Mommy, am I going to die young?”
“The whole family was stirred to action. We were going to do whatever was necessary to ensure both Caity and Gracie could have long, relatively normal lives,” says Caitlin Nulty, the girls’ aunt, who is co-chairing the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation of Delaware Valley’s Grapes & Grain Wine & Craft Beer Tasting March 18, 2016, at The Mansion in Voorhees.
That meant, among other things, waking up early for the first of three-times-daily oscillation vest treatments, to agitate and break up mucus in their lungs, along with nebulizing treatments, which deliver medication as a mist to help clear the airway. It also meant regular trips to Children’s Hospital, and equipping them both with IV antibiotic treatments along with procedures such as sinus surgery, bronchoscopies, and more.
While Gracie has known nothing different her whole life, Caity had to overcome initial shock and significant changes to her lifestyle. Now 18 and a senior at Cherry Hill East High School, she is entering Rowan University in the fall with the hope of one day working in the medical field in some capacity. Her application essay detailed her struggles over the last nine years, and how they influenced who she is today. For her part, Gracie, a free spirit who enjoys time with her friends, playing outdoors, participating in fashion photo shoots, is in 2nd grade at Horace Mann Elementary School.
“Their circumstances are different, and even though they are sisters, and share the same genes, they have very different symptoms, and different outcomes. But they both have incredible fighting spirit,” says Nulty.
Grapes & Grain, in its sixth year, is a wine and craft beer festival conceived to help fund research into a cure for Caitlin and Grayson and the other 30,000 people in the United States (70,000 worldwide) suffering from cystic fibrosis. More than that, Nulty points out, it is a celebration of the spirit of those like her nieces who deal with CF daily.
As in past years, the Grapes & Grain Wine & Craft Beer Tasting will feature several dozen high-end wines and handcrafted microbrews for sampling, along with hors d’oeuvres chosen to complement the beverage selections. The event begins at 7:30 p.m. at The Mansion, 3000 Main Street, Voorhees. General tickets are $85 in advance or $95 at the door. VIP tickets, which include an exclusive wine tasting beginning at 6:30, are $125, or $150 at the door. A portion of the ticket price is tax-deductible. To purchase tickets visit: https://grapesandgrainsnj.eventscff.org.
Event sponsors include Joe Canal’s West Deptford, Lucca Freezer and Storage, and Swordfish Communications. Additional sponsorship opportunities are available, ranging from a $250 Vintage Acknowledgement to $10,000 Winemaster Sponsorship, which includes affixing your company name to the event title. For more information on sponsoring, contact Jessica Quilter at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 610-325-6001.
About Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Delaware Valley
The mission of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is to cure cystic fibrosis and to provide all people with the disease the opportunity to lead full, productive lives by funding research and drug development, promoting individualized treatment and ensuring access to high-quality, specialized care. The Delaware Valley Chapter provides support and services to Southeastern Pennsylvania, Delaware and Southern New Jersey. For more information, visit http://www.cff.org/DelawareValley or call 610-325-6001.