Keeping a Dream Alive : The Agustin Foundation
Imagine having your life planned out and ready to go, getting married, having an family and just all around young love. This was the dreams of Lakota Burge and Billy Agustin. This reality was not meant to be however, Billy had Cystic Fibrosis and would not live to see this come to pass.Cystic fibrosis is a fatal genetic chronic condition that affects more than 30,000 Americans." While there is currently no cure, all hope is not lost everyday there is new trials that are being conducted on a daily basis". Marilyn Woo, M.D of Cystic Fibrosis Foundation says. Cystic fibrosis affects the cells that produce mucus, sweat, and digestive juices.
After a double lung transplant, Billy wanted to plan out his life with Lakota including the development of the Agustin Foundation. When Billy passed in 2019, Lakota decided to keep his dream a live. The Agustin Foundation provides financial, emotional and spiritual aid to families and patients with CF. The foundation is a non profit organization and sole runs on fundraising and donations. When asked what is a common misconception of Cystic Fibrosis, Lakota told me " People that I have met believe that they can contract CF, and that is not the case you are born with it." When asked the same question Marilyn Woo, M.D answered " CF patients can contract the same bacteria in different strands. Patients are encouraged to stay 6 feet away from other CF patients. They were the original social distancers, before COVID." Marilyn also said "a misconception of Cystic Fibrosis is that the disease only affects the lungs. It affects the lungs and digestive system."
The Agustin Foundation had several fundraisers planned, but COVID struck. However, now that the state is opening up the events are coming back. One program that the Foundation does is go and visit local families with a "Gabba bag". In each bag, there is care items and a spiritual track pointing them to God. The Agustin Foundation even mails the Gabba bags. On their website there is financial grant forms pointing families toward getting help for medical cost.
Marilyn Woo said " The goal of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is to help 85 % of people coming into the hospitals in America with new treatments. There is no cure but with constant new developments someday there could be." If you are interested in making a donation to the Agustin Foundation and helping families with Cystic Fibrosis visit theagustinfoundation.org.