Cystic Fibrosis Foundation / Bartlett Girl Is Ambassador for Mid- South Area for 2013

By Ray, Julie | The Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN), April 4, 2013 | Go to article overview

Cystic Fibrosis Foundation / Bartlett Girl Is Ambassador for Mid- South Area for 2013


Ray, Julie, The Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)


Becky Clark and Josh Lowry of Bartlett decided to have their first child 5 years ago. Forgoing the usual route, the couple wanted to have a natural child birth at home.

Within 30 hours, their infant girl, Vega Lowry, was diagnosed with a condition called meconium ileus. This condition is intestinal and often a sign of the disease cystic fibrosis. Five days after medical tests were performed, it was confirmed that Vega had cystic fibrosis.

Cystic fibrosis is an inherited chronic disease that affects the lungs and digestive system of about 30,000 children and adults in the United States (70,000 worldwide).

A defective gene and its protein product cause the body to produce unusually thick, sticky mucus that clogs the lungs and leads to life-threatening lung infections and obstructs the pancreas, stopping natural enzymes from helping the body break down and absorb food.

Vega is the 2013 Ambassador for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation in the Mid-South area and recently helped to kick off an event celebrating young professionals who volunteer to help raise funds for CFF. They will be honored June 22 at an event called Memphis' Finest in Downtown Memphis.

At the kickoff, Vega and Clark met two other Bartlett residents, Deshawna Ross and Leanne Sturgeon, who are helping to find a cure for the disease in their own way.

Ross and her husband wanted to get pregnant with a second child. Two other couples in their circle of friends decided to have children at the same time so that they could "get pregnant together," according to Ross, who explained that the husband of one of her friends has cystic fibrosis.

"Because cystic fibrosis affects membrane tissue, our friends could not get pregnant in the normal way," said Ross. "I have watched my friends who want a child so badly and work so hard for their child. I wanted to do something in support of what they are going through and everyone who has this disease."

Because of her heart and efforts, Ross was nominated as one of Memphis' Finest and has been accepted as an honoree for the June event. …

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