You can't catch Cystic Fibrosis. You can inherit it, but only if both your parents carried the defective gene for it. As diseases go, it is fairly rare. Only 30,000 people in the United States are living with it and up to 100,000 worldwide. People with CF rarely lived past childhood until late in the 20th century.

My first experience with it was in high school. My younger sister's best friend had nieces with it. What they went through as children was unbelievable; the  hospitalizations, the percussion therapy, the medications, the expense.

My second experience with CF was meeting a remarkable young woman here in Sioux Falls. Ashley Ballou-Bonnema is a very talented writer, speaker and singer. She is an inspiration and role-model to people living with cystic fibrosis and the rest of us who know her.

A life with CF is exhausting – physically, mentally, emotionally. And the truth is, that some days I just want to ignore it all. To push CF from my mind and live oblivious to its unrelenting chaos – its unforgiving reality." - Ashley Ballou-Bonnema/breathebravely/blogspot

We were brought together by a wonderful event, Corks and Kegs for Cystic Fibrosis, where her speech about not just surviving, but truly living, brought me and others to tears.

Now in its 4th year, Corks and Kegs has become the beer and wine tasting event of the fall and a major fundraiser for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. It is coming up this Saturday, November 4, at the Sioux Falls Convention Center from 6 to 11:30 PM.

You'll be listening and dancing to great music from Goodroad Band, sipping sensational wines and brews, and sampling savory hor d'oeuvres. You can also browse through a truly outstanding collection of silent auction items.

Whether you're looking to stock your freezer with a beef or pork bundle, need a family getaway to the Twin Cities, a Yeti cooler, handmade wine rack, or will be doing some early holiday gift shopping, you'll find it all and a whole lot more!

Purchase tickets here, or for more information contact Libby Wilhelmy at 651-631-3290 or see them online and on Facebook.

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