Sunday, March 7, 2010

Magic in the Making

Okay, I know I win worst blogger award...again. The fact of the matter is that there hasn't been a whole lot going on in my life lately to share, and believe me I'm not complaining. I was a little sick last week -- started back on IVs after my last post and then ended up having to add a high-dose steroid burst to help push things along -- but I feel amazing now. It's incredible what a few days, a few antibiotics, and a few (or, you know, six) prednisone every day will do for a girl! (And, on a random sidenote, is there any better feeling than being on high dose pred, having plenty of food in the house, and knowing that you're actually allowed -- um, make that encouraged -- to eat as much of it as you want? I've had some super yummy dinners these past few days, suffice it to say.)

But to be honest the truly incredible part of this weekend wasn't the steroids, or the IVs, or the ecstatic high that comes from feeling better after an infection, or even the non-stop foodfest. Nope, the really, truly, unbelievably amazing thing wasn't even going in New York, even though things were pretty great around here. As it turns out, though, everyone who's REALLY cool was hanging out not in the city, but on the mountain. Vail Mountain in Colorado, to be specific.

This past weekend was the 25th annual American Airlines Celebrity Ski for Cystic Fibrosis, which this year raised over $700,000 toward curing this disease in a single three-day event. Incredible? Absolutely. Heartwarming? Without a doubt. Magical? Well...decide for yourself:

Is it magic that a single event has been able to raise over $23 million to date for CF research, owing almost entirely to donations from individuals who return year after year -- who literally come for the fun and stay for the cause?

Is it magic that celebrities as diverse as sports heroes (Jim Lonborg, Matt Bahr, Jim Palmer, Billy Kidd), TV stars (Ian Ziering, Jim Sikking, Sandra Hess, MacKenzie Rosman, Kimberlin Brown, Wendie Malick, Grant Goodeve, Dennis Haskins), comedians (Jeff Dunham, Rosie O'Donnell), musicians (including members of Santana, Gavin DeGraw, and American Idol contestants), and so many, many more give their time and energy to support CF and raise awareness of this disease?

Is it magic that so many corporate sponsors, particularly American Airlines, have stuck with this cause since the 1980s, through good times and bad, through the discovery of the CF gene and up to now, when new drugs promise so much hope?

Most importantly, is it magic that one room full of about 1,000 people was able to raise well over half a million dollars for cystic fibrosis in the middle of a recession?

Speaking as someone who has been honored to be a part of this event almost since its conception, I'm here to tell you that it is, quite simply, magic. Every single year the people who come to this weekend blow me away with their generosity, their spirit, and their commitment to finding a cure. For over 20 years I have been with them on the ski slopes, raced along side of them on the slalom course as we also raced toward a cure, and shared in the joy, laughter, tears, and love that make this event so...well...magical.

I couldn't be there this year because I'm waiting for a little magic of my own, but I couldn't let the weekend pass without mentioning my wonderful second family and saying, once again, "thank you" for all that they do...for all of us. This is a group who took 30 seconds of silence last night to focus positive energy, prayers, and thoughts for me 2,000 miles away as I waited for new lungs -- coincidentally on the weekend when everything fell into place and I finally began to feel better.

And if that isn't magic, then I don't know what is.


  1. Awesome, Piper! I'm glad that you are able to be there each year (in person or via skype!). You are a WONDERFUL representative of us!!

  2. um, so when is YOUR book coming out again!?

    you're tearin me up, here in MA!

  3. i have been on the non stop food fest for two months! i'm still having fun with that one!

    i don't know if i am as encouraged to eat as much as you are now though seeing as how i have put on 25 pounds already!!!!

    i am so glad to hear you are feeling better. breaks like that are so nice. i hope it lasts awhile!

    XOXO leah