Dan Hopkins is a bowler who has recently raised over $21,000 for cystic fibrosis (CF) in a 65 hour long bowl-a-thon. While he may be exhausted and sore, he is ecstatic with the money and awareness that the event raised for genetic condition.
About Cystic Fibrosis
Cystic fibrosis is a genetic disorder that is characterized by progressive damage to the respiratory and digestive systems. Those with cystic fibrosis do not have the slippery mucus that is normally found in the lungs, instead they have thick and sticky mucus which builds up in their system. This buildup causes clogs in the airways, which then traps bacteria and causes breathing problems, infections, lung damage, and respiratory failure. It can also block digestive enzymes, which makes it difficult to absorb nutrients. Cystic fibrosis is a recessive disorder, meaning that the mutated gene must be passed down by both parents. The gene responsible for this condition affects the protein that regulates salt movement. The mutation in the gene varies in severity as well.
Symptoms of cystic fibrosis affect the respiratory and digestive systems. They include persistent coughing and wheezing, shortness of breath, difficulty exercising, frequent lung infections, stuffy noses, trouble with gaining weight, constipation, male infertility, salty-tasting skin, and exercise intolerance.
About the Bowl-a-Thon
Last week, Dan and a number of other bowlers participated in his bowl-a-thon for a staggering 65 hours. From 7 PM on Wednesday until noon on Saturday, these bowlers pushed through fatigue to help raise money for CF.
Dan and his wife are beyond happy with the results of the event, as they both worked tirelessly to set it up, get corporate sponsors, and find bowlers to participate. Their expectations have been blown away by the outcome of the bowl-a-th0n; they raised over $20,000.
They both know how valuable this money is to the rare disease community, as Dan is part of that community himself. He has ankylosing spondylitis, making his performance in the bowl-a-thon even more impressive. Inflammation of the joints is a major symptom, bringing swelling and pain. This did not stop Dan, who bowled for the first 24 hours without a break.
In fact, it was not until the early hours of Friday morning that he began to feel the effects of bowling for thirty hours straight. At 1 AM, he took a planned break before pushing through. To ensure that he remained at his best for the rest of the event, he continued to take small breaks. By the end, he had only slept for three hours and fifteen minutes.
He also knows that he could not have done it without a support system, as he had people around him to ensure that he was fed, had mental support, and had physiotherapy and massages. This help allowed him to complete the 65 hour event.
All of the money raised went to Cystic Fibrosis New Zealand, an organization that supports and improves the quality of life for those with CF.
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