TAMPA, Fla. — For the 15th consecutive year, Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP attorney Kathleen M. Bickelhaupt laced up her sneakers and walked two kilometers to support a cause that’s deeply personal. Bickelhaupt served as a captain of last weekend’s Great Strides walk, which raised more than $85,000 for cystic fibrosis research and drug development, a cause Bickelhaupt became passionate about after her son, Grant, was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis at age 5.
Grant, now a student at Northeastern University in Boston, is just one of 30,000 Americans who suffer from cystic fibrosis, a life-threatening genetic disease that causes the body to produce an unusually thick, sticky mucus that can clog the lungs and obstruct the pancreas. The life expectancy of a child with cystic fibrosis has doubled in the last 30 years thanks to expanded research that has been funded by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, which organizes the annual Great Strides walks around the nation.
Each year, more than 125,000 volunteers participate in Great Strides walks; 530 joined with Bickelhaupt and her son to walk in Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo. Bickelhaupt personally raised $1,800 on Saturday, and Shumaker contributed to the cause. Sixteen people walked on Bickelhaupt’s team, including several Shumaker attorneys, staffers and their families. Overall, the team raised $3,340.
“I’m amazed year after year to see how much the Shumaker family supports this cause,” says Bickelhaupt. “Whether it’s by joining me and my son on this walk or just making a generous donation — the attorneys here have been incredibly supportive and giving.”
People like Grant who suffer from cystic fibrosis must follow a regular treatment routine to maintain lung health. Most patients must take inhaled medicines and antibiotics to help keep their airways clear and also take pancreatic enzyme supplements. Young people, in particular, must also carefully monitor their nutrition and consume extra calories to grow and develop.
This mix of specialized medical care, drug treatments, therapies and nutrition can significantly lengthen the life of those with cystic fibrosis. And while there remains no cure for the disease, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is aggressively funding research to find a solution, research that took a few thousand steps forward this past Saturday.
About Kathleen M. Bickelhaupt
Kathleen M. Bickelhaupt's principal areas of practice are mergers and acquisitions, equity and debt financings and business transactions. Kathleen has extensive experience in representing public and private companies in a variety of business and commercial matters and transactions. This includes acquiring and selling businesses, private equity transactions, business contracts and agreements and general corporate matters.
About Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP
Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP is a full-service business law firm with more than 240 lawyers, 60 paralegals and 495 employees in five offices: Toledo and Columbus, Ohio; Tampa and Sarasota, Fla.; and Charlotte, N.C. In each of its markets, Shumaker is the premier provider of quality legal services to individuals, small businesses, health care providers, nonprofits and Fortune 500 and international corporations.