Two local events are planned for the next few days to raise money and awareness about cystic fibrosis.
A Mexican dinner is planned at Samuel Robertson Technical (SRT) at 5 p.m. tomorrow evening (Friday), made by the school's culinary students.
In addition, the annual Great Strides walk takes place on Sunday, May 27.
Both are fundraisers for Cystic Fibrosis Canada.
SRT will donate one dollar from every meal to Cystic Fibrosis Canada. In addition, art students in grades 9 and 10 have made pinatas which will be sold by silent auction.
The idea for the fundraiser came from Tina Ugzmaili who is in Grade 9 at SRT, and she started planning it with her art teacher Nayi Rincon.
Ugzmaili's boyfriend has cystic fibrosis, a disease she didn't know anything about before getting to know him.
"I want a cure [because] a lot of people die of it at young ages," Ugzmaili said. "It's really sad."
Second cousins Melissa Powell and Emily Lockett say that CF stands for "cure found," but unfortunately for the two young girls, it doesn't - both have cystic fibrosis.
This past Saturday, the girls got a group of friends together and organized a lemonade stand that raised $151.86 in four hours for cystic fibrosis.
Their mothers, Lisa Lockett and Karen Bateson have been organizing the local Great Strides event in Pitt Meadows for the past few years.
When Melissa was two years old, her mother took her to a Great Strides walk in Fleetwood.
The next year, Emily's mother, Karen Bateson, said it was crazy that there wasn't a local walk.
The two moms decided to start one and this is the eighth year it will take place in Pitt Meadows.
Last year about 150 participated in the walk for cystic fibrosis.
Many of Melissa's teachers, past and present, come to the walk along with other people in the community who want to support those people struggling with the disease.
"It's wonderful for the girls to see the support," Lockett said.
Last year's walk raised $12,000 - double what was raised in 2010.
Having cystic fibrosis means regular medication and a lot of physio - and avoiding respiratory illnesses.
Melissa has been fairly healthy recently, Lockett said, but she is now developing CF-related diabetes, which will be another health challenge.
Cystic fibrosis is a multi-system disease that affects mainly the lungs and the digestive system.
In the lungs, where the effects are most devastating, a build-up of thick mucus causes severe respiratory problems.
Mucus and protein also build up in the digestive tract, making it difficult to digest and absorb nutrients from food.
Thick mucus builds up and blocks the ducts of the pancreas, preventing enzymes, which help to digest food, from reaching the intestines.
As improved therapies have helped to address the malnutrition issues, ultimately most cystic fibrosis-related deaths are due to lung disease.
Samuel Robertson Technical would like diners to reserve a seat for Friday evening's dinner by calling 604-466-8409.
The Great Strides Walk takes place this Sunday at 10 a.m. at the south end of Harris Road in Pitt Meadows.
Tim Horton's crew will be on site and there will be face painting and prizes as well.
Donations can be made online at www.cysticfibrosis.ca/en/ GreatStrides. Donations can also be made at the walk on Sunday.
All funds go to the Canadian Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.