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Ivy's League

By: David Lyda (From: Volume 1 - Issue 4)

Ivy’s League is an organization based in South Carolina that seeks to find a cure and raise awareness about Cystic Fibrosis. The Thomas family was led to begin Ivy’s League after the disease hit very close to home. Julie Thomas recently took the time to share more about Ivy’s League with Greenville In One Accord.

GIOA: Who is Ivy?

Julie Thomas: Jason and I were high school sweethearts and got married on June 29th, 2002, after graduating from Anderson and Clemson Universities. Five years later, on April 20th, 2007 we were blessed with a son, Ian Michael. On September 28, 2010, God added a precious daughter, Ivy Caroline, to our family.

After a two week stay in the NICU at Spartanburg Regional and failure to thrive, Ivy was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis on November 4, 2010.

I have put my career on hold at this time to care for Ian and Ivy, true gifts from God! Ian excels at playing piano and baseball, and Ivy is your typical two year old. Both are full of life and in constant motion! Ivy is always exploring and curious about the world around her. She already exhibits the traits of a true fighter, which will be crucial as she faces life's challenges.

GIOA: What is Ivy’s League trying to accomplish?

Julie Thomas: Ivy’s League purpose is to raise money to go towards a cure for Cystic Fibrosis.

GIOA: How can people help?

Julie Thomas: People can help by donating and praying! Donating helps keep the research going as the government does not help with funding research. Our most recent campaign is www.fivehundredfromfifty.com. Basically, we are trying to raise $500 from EACH state. $500 from an entire state shouldn't be that hard, right? We are asking everyone we know to share our link and help us spread the word. On the "Five Hundred From Fifty" site is a video that introduces Ivy and CF. There is also a PayPal link where people can donate securely. There is a map of the USA on the site, and as money comes in, we shade in the states purple accordingly. People can also visit our team website, www.ivysleague.net to learn how to help. Besides donating, prayers are what we need most! Nothing is more powerful than prayer! We pray daily for a cure to be found. We also pray that Ivy will remain as healthy as possible until that cure is found!

GIOA: What is Cystic Fibrosis?

Julie Thomas: Cystic Fibrosis is a genetic disease which causes thick mucus to clog the lungs and pancreas. This prevents the breakdown of nutrition in the digestive system and can lead to recurring lung infections and often, a lung transplant. At one time, patients did not survive past infancy. With preventative treatments available today, the average lifespan has increased to thirty-seven. This fatal lung disease affects 70,000 people worldwide, and as of today, there is no cure.

GIOA: How does it affect a person’s daily life?

Julie Thomas: Despite the normal activities of an energetic two year old, Ivy has quite a regimen that she has to follow in order to stay healthy. She has to do several breathing treatments a day, chest physical therapy sessions, take several medications, as well as take enzymes before every meal to help her breakdown and absorb nutrition and vitamins. She also has to visit her CF specialist, Dr. Steve Snodgrass, in Greenville every 3 months.

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