Monday, August 01, 2011

SWIM For A Cure: Michael P. Savoca Memorial Foundation

Hello everybody!

As you may recall, every two months my SWIM For A Cure Outreach Program strives to raise money and awareness for a different illness/charity.

I just finished working with the wonderful people at the Children's Neuroblastoma Cancer Foundation, and I am very excited to begin my work with the Michael P. Savoca Memorial Foundation, as we team up to raise awareness for Pulmonary Fibrosis.

Before I begin to go into detail as to how SWIM For A Cure became partners with the Michael P. Savoca Foundation, you should first know a little about Pulmonary Fibrosis...

Pulmonary Fibrosis is an illness that affects the lungs. Pulmonary Fibrosis is the gradual scarring of the lung's tissue, which causes irreversible damage. Once the tissue is lost to the scarring, the tissue can no longer transfer oxygen to the bloodstream.

The cause for the illness is unknown, however, researchers believe that it is either an autoimmune disease, or it is a result of the after effect's of a viral infection.

Currently, five million people worldwide suffer from Pulmonary Fibrosis. Sadly, there is no known cure for the disease. Several drugs are still in the experimental phase, though the drugs have only shown minimal success in reducing lung tissue scarring.
(Source: Michael P. Savoca Memorial Foundation)

Now that you know about the illness, it is time that you learn about the new beneficiary, the Michael P. Savoca Memorial Foundation...

About the Michael P. Savoca Memorial Foundation:

"Mike Savoca was diagnosed with Pulmonary Fibrosis on March 17, 2009. Prior to his diagnosis, Mike and his family had never heard of Pulmonary Fibrosis. Over the next six months, his family watched as this horrific disease consumed Mike. Mike became easily winded and often, could not catch his breath. His breathing became labored. As Mike suffered, his family felt helpless that there was nothing they could do to help Mike. There is no cure, no treatment for Pulmonary Fibrosis. Mike passed away on September 25, 2009, just six short months after his initial diagnosis. 

Although Mike passed away from Pulmonary Fibrosis, the disease did not define him. Mike’s favorite movie was It’s a Wonderful Life. In his short life, Mike truly embodied George Bailey. Mike positively impacted many people during his life. He was a man of integrity, hard work and family values. Mike had a career of nearly forty years at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. He was a mentor and friend to many of his people at the CME, always willing to listen and give advice. Mike had many lifelong friends and loved to laugh. Mike’s true passion in life was his family. The roles of husband, dad and grandpa are what truly made Mike happy. 

The Michael P. Savoca Foundation was founded by Mike’s six children who serve as the Board of Directors for the Foundation. Four of his friends and his wife serve as advisors to the Board. Although Mike is no longer with us, it is our sincere hope that we can keep Mike’s spirit alive through this foundation and the positive work we hope to accomplish catching a breath of hope for Pulmonary Fibrosis. " (Source: Michael P. Savoca Foundation)
Last year alone, the Michael P. Savoca Foundation has raised over $35,000 for Pulmonary Fibrosis research.

Now, in keeping with the tradition of SWIM For A Cure, I always explain how/why I came about choosing the particular charity or cause. I went to high school (and one of my high school's Turnabouts) with one of Michael Savoca's daughters.

I first heard of Mr. Savoca's passing when I was in the hospital awaiting my heart and kidney transplant. Since then, both the foundation and the family's story have been in the back of my mind. Now that I am back in my hometown for the summer, (along with my former Tunrabout date), I thought their was no better time than now to finally get around to working with the foundation.

Like always, keep an eye out for more e-mails regarding this new outreach program.

Thanks again to everyone who has supported the past two outreach programs for Neuroblastoma and Crohn's/Colitis.

A few SWIM For A Cure book signings are in the works. (I may even do one in Cleveland, OH... we shall see...). Keep an eye out for another blog about the official dates.

Check out the links posted at the bottom...

Have a wonderful night and week!


Michael P. Savoca Memorial Foundation's Website
More Info About Pulmonary Fibrosis
SWIM For A Cure Page

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