Knoxville Rising Star

The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation has provided millions of dollars into research and lifestyle improvement services for the sufferers of Cystic Fibrosis, a chronic disease that fills the lungs and other organs with fluid. Their Knoxville chapter has sponsored the Rising Star competition to promote the foundation and recognize local philanthropists such as Anna Cramer.

Cramer is a real estate agent turned spokesperson after attending an informative lecture about Cystic Fibrosis.

“I learned that the disease made people feel at best like they were constantly drowning,” Cramer said. “After learning how terribly adults and children, similar to my own, suffer thanks to this disease, I went into my car and just ... wept. I decided I had to do something.”

After volunteering at the foundation, she was nominated to be one of nine prominent members of the community to compete in the Knoxville’s Rising Stars competition. As a Rising Star, Cramer and the others were tasked with taking 16 weeks to raise funds and spread awareness for Cystic Fibrosis.

Cystic Fibrosis is a chronic, genetic disease that affects every one in three thousand children. Currently, there are over 30,000 American patients suffering from the disease registered with the foundation. The disease slowly fills the organs with mucus and severely damages vital organs such as the lungs and liver, as well as the digestive system.

Cystic Fibrosis victims have a greatly reduced life expectancy and quality of life compared to the average American. Without treatment, most with the disease will not live past their teens. With modern treatment, most suffering from the disease will live past 40 and up to 70. Thanks to efforts from the foundation, life expectancy increases almost yearly.

Through various community outreach events and collaborations with local businesses, Cramer has currently raised over $10,000 for the foundation. One collaboration saw Gus’s Fried Chicken donating 10% of the sales made on this past Saturday to the Foundation.

Individual donors are also critical to the campaign’s success. Christopher Manning is one such donor who donated $500.

“I’m glad to support my friend’s effort to combat this disease,” Manning said.

Individual donors are responsible for over $2,000 of the funds Cramer has raised so far.

Cramer has found that she cannot stop here. She plans on continuing after the competition ceases.

“I can’t just stop here. I’m not sure of the capacity, but I plan to work with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation as much as I can,” Cramer said.

The winner of the Rising Star competition will be announced this Saturday Feb. 8 at the 20th Annual Knoxville’s Rising Stars Celebration Gala. The winner, the person who has brought in the most donations, will be recognized and awarded.

The Foundation will continue accepting donations to the last minute on their site Donations of all sizes and social media posts are both greatly appreciated.

For more information on Knoxville charity events and causes, please continue reading the Daily Beacon.

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