BAR HARBOR — The 26th annual Great Strides Walk to Cure Cystic Fibrosis will start on Saturday, Sept. 23, at 9 a.m. Check-in is at 8:30 a.m. at the Conners Emerson School.
A new feature will be a shorter walk with a course of three miles coinciding with the original five-mile walk. Both walks will be marked and will start together.
The event raises funds and awareness for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Although cystic fibrosis is a rare disease, three local families are affected by it and are working with the CFF to make “CF” stand for “cure found.”
Cystic fibrosis is a genetic disease which primarily affects the lungs and digestive system, causing chronic bacterial lung infection and digestive malabsorption. Children and adults with CF spend many hours a day inhaling medications to clear their lungs, along with vest or chest physiotherapy.
Katie Leighton, 27-years-old, is the daughter of Phyllis and Woody Leighton. She is a graduate of Mount Desert Island High School and the University of Maine. She works at the Tremont School, with special needs children, while pursuing her master’s degree. She coaches gymnastics at the Harbor House and is planning her wedding this fall.
Maggie Murray, 14-years-old, is the daughter of Rebecca and Steve Murray. She is in ninth grade at MDI High School.
Aria Smith, 6-years-old, is the daughter of Billie Jo and Jourdan Smith, and Avery, 18-months-old, is their son. Aria is in kindergarten, and Avery loves playing with cars and Legos.