Shortly after his young son Gunnar was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis (a rare hereditary disease that affects the lungs and digestive system), Boomer Esiason sprung into action. While he was a quarterback with the New York Jets, he created the Boomer Esiason Foundation in 1994 to fund research to help find a cure for the terminal condition.
Since its inception, the Boomer Esiason Foundation has raised more than $100 million to provide research, grants for transplants, scholarships and to ensure a better quality of life for people with cystic fibrosis (CF). Today, Gunnar Esiason is an integral part of the foundation acting as director of patient outreach.
GoodSport has been proud to partner with the Boomer Esiason Foundation by creating video profiles on athletes with CF who have improved their lives by using physical activity to help build stamina as well as stronger immune systems. Here are a few of their stories.
When it comes to limitations for Abby Dwyer there are none. The graduate of Princeton University and Harvard Law school has achieved things most people can only dream of; all while battling cystic fibrosis.
“I would say to other people with CF, whatever you think your limitations are, you’re wrong. Nothing taught me that like training for the New York City Marathon.”
Teena Mobley earned a scholarship to Monroe College and then Long Island University where she was nationally ranked in the long jump. Track and field not only gave her a platform to excel, but also helped cultivate an attitude she still carries with her today.
“I never liked someone telling me that I couldn’t do something,” said Mobley, who works at CBS Sports. “And just being a track athlete overall has helped me maintain a positive mindset. I go by the motto, ‘No limits with Tina,’ I’m going to show the world that you can accomplish anything in your life if you put your mind to it and work hard.”
Michael Caruso Davis from Middletown, Delaware, ran the Chicago Marathon for Team Boomer, becoming the youngest person ever (16) to finish the 26.2-mile race. He credits the Boomer Esiason Foundation for helping him accomplish his goals.
“The Boomer Esiason Foundation means everything to me. They gave me more of a reason to run and they really backed me up. When I’m running I know I do it for them and all the kids in the hospital waiting for a lung transplant.”
The medical community has made great strides in extending the lives of people afflicted with CF and in the research towards finding a cure for the disease. No organization has been more visible than the Boomer Esiason Foundation in helping make a tangible difference in many important ways.
Images courtesy of the Boomer Esiason Foundation (Facebook), Teena Mobley, and Abby Dwyer.