Friday, August 28, 2009

Unleash Your Story—August 31-September 28

Unleash Your Story brings writers and readers together to raise funds and awareness for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation . The concept is simple—we are harnessing the power of story to make a difference for the tens of thousands of kids and adults living with this fatal genetic disease.

The power of story

Ever tumble into a good story and feel yourself transported to another time or place? You might stroll through Regency England, sail a pirate ship, creep into a dark netherworld or fly through a bright faerie kingdom. With the help of a good book you can tour the universe we know and universes yet to be imagined all without checking the morning traffic report or worrying about the rising cost of fuel.

You are traveling on the power of story.

A story can make you laugh or cry—sometimes both at once. It can provide temporary relief from grief, sorrow, pain and worries. Stories are not just escapes, they can inspire, encourage and give you the fortitude to face the challenges reality throws at you.

You might think all this power comes from the writer's imagination, but that's only half true. It takes readers and writers working together to make magic happen. A reader's imagination lifts the words off the page and brings them to life. You can pick up Austen's Pride and Prejudice or Homer's Odyssey today and give those stories new life long after their authors have turned to dust. That is powerful magic.

Now imagine hundreds of readers and writers working together to unleash their stories. This is the concept behind the Unleash Your Story: Make a Difference write-a-thon/read-a-thon. With many readers and writers each doing a little, we can make a big difference.

The reality

Cystic fibrosis is a genetic disease that affects the lungs and digestive system of about 30,000 children and adults in the U.S. and 70,000 worldwide. A defective gene and its protein product cause the body to produce unusually thick, sticky mucus that clogs the lungs and leads to life-threatening lung infections. This same mucus obstructs the pancreas and stops natural enzymes from helping the body break down and absorb food. To combat these issues people with CF depend on many drugs and supplements to survive.

In the 1950s, few children with cystic fibrosis lived to attend elementary school. Today, advances in research and medical treatments have enhanced and extended life for children and adults with CF. Many people with the disease can now expect to live into their 30s, 40s and beyond. The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation works to find better treatments and, ultimately, a cure for this fatal illness. (Information from the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation website
Even with the advances we've seen over the last several decades the story of cystic fibrosis is grim for tens of thousands of kids and adults suffering from this disease and the hundreds of thousands of people who love them. Working together we can help change the story by bringing improved treatment and the hoped for cure closer to reality.

How you can help

Each Unleash Your Story participant sets a reading or writing goal and asks friends, family and fans to donate to CFF in support of their goal. It's sort of like a walk-a-thon, except there is no knocking on doors or wearing out sneakers. Instead you sit in your favorite reading or writing spot and crank out the pages!

Unleash Your Story runs from August 31 through September 28, 2009. Our fearless leaders in the 2009 campaign are Lori Wilde , Pacesetter Author and Michelle Buonfiglio , Pacesetter Reader. We'll have fun prizes for those who keep up with our pacesetters as well as incentives for reaching certain reading, writing and fund raising goals.

Last year Unleash Your Story raised over $11,000 for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Our goal this year is to more than double that amount to $23,000. With your help we can reach this goal!

The Basics

What: Write-a-thon/Read-a-thon for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation

When: August 31-September 28. Registration starts in early August.

How to participate: 1) Register; 2) set a reading or writing goal; 3) set a fundraising goal; 4) form a team or work as an individual; 5) contact friends, relatives and fans and ask them to donate in support of your goal. All donations go directly to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and are tax deductible. No need for you to worry about collecting donations.

Learn more: Visit or write to .

Now, get busy unleashing your story!

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