cystic fibrosis

Team Katie – Great Strides 2012 results!

Team Katie - Great Strides 2012 photo gallery
Team Katie – Great Strides 2012 photo gallery

To all Team Katie supporters,

Thank you so much for your generous contributions to Team Katie in support of the 2012 Great Strides fundraiser. We continue to be overwhelmed by the tremendous outpouring of generosity and encouragement that we’ve received from you, our friends, as we do what we can to help find a cure for Cystic Fibrosis.

This annual fundraiser has been a huge motivator for us. In many ways, we feel powerless to help Katie. Our fundraising efforts have been one of the key ways that we’ve had to focus our energy in a positive way to help Katie live a long, healthy life. The funds that we raise are efficiently used to support CF patients and to help find a cure.

Some numbers from today:
Total money raised for Cystic Fibrosis Canada = $2,082,058+
Total money raised for the Niagara Great Strides Walk at Safari Niagara = $40,000+
Total money raised for Team Katie = $19,000+
Total sponsors for Team Katie = 251
Total Team Katie walkers today = 65

You can see a slideshow of some pics from this weekend’s event here:

And, the complete flickr photo stream of the event is located here:

Your monetary contributions have been a huge source of inspiration for us and we thank you for that. Not only are you helping fund the fight to beat CF, but each of you have also given our family a boost – we live with CF on a daily basis. We try not to get down, and most of the time, we’re okay. But, sometimes it all catches up with us. The weight of a fatal disease in the family makes for some grim thoughts from time to time. But, we feel comfort knowing that we have so many friends that support us and rally behind us in this cause.

To everyone that has helped us this year, we thank you. Each of you, in contributing your time, money, thoughts and prayers are helping to save Katie’s life. And for that, we are eternally grateful.

Much love,

Todd, Julie, Noah, Katie & Riley

cystic fibrosis

Breathe Easy Nebulizer Mask Holder

Breathe Easy Nebulizer Mask Holder
Breathe Easy Nebulizer Mask Holder

All CF parents out there, you must check out this product: The Breathe Easy Nebulizer Mask Holder

What a great device! Julie found this online and ordered one. Order total = $31.50 which includes shipping. The device even came with an extra “Bubbles the Fish Pediatric Aerosol Mask”, which is a bonus so that we can rotate masks more often.

To use it, all you do is put the strap on your child’s head, adjust the fish mask on the face and then attach the nebulizer to the front of the mask. Easy as 1 2 3.

The product creator, Melissa, was motivated to make this mask holder for a friend’s child, who has CF. According to Melissa, “This mask holder was created for a friend of mine to help with her son’s breathing treatments. Her little boy has Cystic Fibrosis and must have multiple breathing treatments every day. She struggled with getting the nebulizer mask, with its flimsy elastic strap, to stay on his head securely.”

And, as an added bonus, Melissa will also donate a portion of any purchase referred by Breathing As A Family to Cystic Fibrosis Canada! Simply mention that you heard about this here (and mention Team Katie) during the checkout process (there is a spot for additional comments on Etsy when you place your order) and Melissa will do the rest.

Thanks to Melissa (mktdesigns on Etsy) for providing such a great product.

Please pass this along to any other CF families that you know!


cystic fibrosis

Corporate Sponsors Needed for Team Katie!

Team Katie 2011
Team Katie 2011

Here’s a PDF copy of this letter Please spread the word!

Dear business owner,

As you may know, our daughter Katie Dow is a 4 year old Beamsville resident with Cystic Fibrosis. Team Katie is the group of family, friends and co-workers that are rallying around Katie to help find a cure to for Cystic Fibrosis and we are looking for corporate donations for the 2011 Great Strides Walk.

Please consider sponsoring Team Katie in the 2011 Great Strides walk, which will be held on May 29 2011 at Safari Niagara in Stevensville.

The cause: Help find a cure for Cystic Fibrosis

The need: Cash donations. Donations of goods or services will be:

  1. Auctioned or sold and the proceeds donated as cash; and/or
  2. Awarded as incentive prizes to Team Katie and/or CF Niagara walkers;

Note: 100% of the proceeds from all cash and/or donations will go directly to Cystic Fibrosis Canada via Team Katie as part of our 2011 Great Strides fundraising.

The recipient: Cystic Fibrosis Canada (which is a registered Canadian charity)

The business benefits of sponsoring Team Katie:

  1. Support a local charity need;
  2. Encourage a local family;
  3. Great marketing opportunity;

Marketing opportunities:

Team Katie communicates directly with over 500 individuals, many of whom are located in the Niagara region. This includes family, friends, co-workers and other supporters of Team Katie. This group of people is passionate about this cause and they are acutely aware of (and supportive of) the help that is provided by other Team Katie sponsors, including you!

We use multiple avenues to communicate with Team Katie supporters, including, but not limited to, the following:

Blog (

  • 3000+ page views since September 2010
  • 630 page views in April 2011 alone

Additional Social Media:

  • Team Katie email distribution list = 250+ supporters, almost all of whom are located within Niagara.
  • Facebook (Todd Dow): 450+ friends
  • LinkedIn (Todd Dow): 250+ followers
  • Twitter (toddhdow): 75+ followers

How your company will be recognized:

Walker level – for donations up to $500:

  1. Thank you notes will be sent via Team Katie social media (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn) & blog (
  2. 1 year placement in sponsor area on
  3. Special mention at end of Great Strides campaign thank you email and blog post to Team Katie distribution list

Runner level – for donations from $500 to $2,500:

  1. All of the Walker level benefits; plus
  2. “Runner” level sponsorship placement on in the right side navigation area right below “Support Team Katie” from time of sponsorship until February 28 2012
  3. I’ll create a Facebook fan page for your business and advertise it to my network to help raise your company profile

 Marathoner level – for donations over $2,500:

  1. All of the Runner level benefits; plus
  2. “Marathoner” premium sponsorship placement on the header (top of the page beside the site logo) of
  3. “Marathoner” premium sponsorship placement on all emails that are sent on behalf of Team Katie and Breathing As A Family from time of sponsorship until February 28 2012

 If you are interested in donating $7,500 or more, please contact me directly. I’ll find a creative way to make that size of a donation worth your while (all of the above, plus web marketing consulting, website design, etc.) Trust me, it will be money well spent!

To support Team Katie:

  1. Sponsor Team Katie directly by clicking on the “Click here to donate to Team Katie” link on (under “Support Team Katie” at top right of the site);
  2. Email ( or call (905.563.7195) Todd or Julie Dow directly to discuss additional donation options;

Thank you for your support,

Todd, Julie, Noah, Katie & Riley Dow

cystic fibrosis

Volunteers needed for Great Strides (Niagara’s largest annual Cystic Fibrosis fundraiser)

Great Strides 2009 registration
Great Strides 2009 registration

The Hamilton and Niagara chapters of Cystic Fibrosis Canada are still looking for additional volunteers to help out with the Great Strides walk, which will be held at Safari Niagara on Sunday May 29 2011.

People are still needed to do the following activities:

  • General greeting
  • Registration desk
  • Wrist band handouts
  • Goodie bag handouts

If you’re interested in helping out, drop me an email at toddhdow [at] gmail [dot] com and I’ll put you in touch with the right people.



cystic fibrosis

Street wide Garage Sale – Sat May 21 2011

4418 Dennis Avenue in Beamsville
Google Map

As part of our fundraising for Great Strides, we’ll be running a garage sale on Saturday May 21 2011. We sent out invites to our neighbours today. Ideally, we’ll be able to make it a street wide garage sale, with some of our neighbours participating.

Some things that you can do to help:

  1. Stop by on Saturday May 21 and find a treasure to take home
  2. Spread the word – let others know about this event and get them to stop by on May 21 as well
  3. Hope for sun on Sat May 21!

And, here’s the note that we sent to the neighbours:
Dear Neighbour

We are the Dow family and we live at 4418 Dennis Ave. Our daughter Katie has Cystic Fibrosis.

Cystic fibrosis (CF) is the most common, fatal genetic disease affecting Canadian children and young adults. There is no cure for cystic fibrosis. CF is a multi-organ disease, primarily affecting the lungs and digestive system. A build-up of thick mucus in the lungs causes severe breathing problems. It may be difficult to clear bacteria from the lungs, leading to cycles of infection and inflammation, which damage the delicate lung tissues.

Thick mucus also blocks the ducts of the pancreas, preventing enzymes from reaching the intestines to digest food. People with CF must consume a large amount of artificial enzymes (average 20 pills a day) with every meal and snack, to help digest and absorb adequate nutrition from food.

Katie has to endure 2 to 4 hours of treatment a day to try and loosen the mucous in her lungs as well as take enzymes just to be able to digest her food. The median survival age for someone with CF is 47.7. This just isn’t enough for us and Katie needs a cure.

On Saturday May 21st we are having a garage sale to raise funds for Cystic Fibrosis. Our hope it to make this a street wide sale, as we know that many other streets in Beamsville have had major success with this. We will be donating our proceeds to charity, however, there is no pressure for anyone else to do this. In making this a street wide sale, we can advertise it that way and there will be a lot more traffic coming through the area. As well as advertising in the local paper, we are also hoping to have an article written about the event.

If you would like to participate in this yard sale, please let us know by giving us a call at (905) 563-7195 or emailing us at

And, if you are interested in learning more about Cystic Fibrosis or our family’s story, check these websites: (our family blog)

Thank you so much!


Todd, Julie, Noah, Katie and Riley Dow

p.s. If the weather is poor on Sat May 21, we will reserve Sunday May 22 as the rain date for this event.