Local choirs sing to fight against cystic fibrosis
The Sound of Tennessee Barber Shop Chorus of Cleveland sponsored the Cleveland Christmas Benefit Concert, where they paired up with a few schools to put on a show, hoping to save a life.
They tell Channel 3 every year they pick a different non-profit to sponsor. This year they chose the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation in support of one of their own.
"We wanted to do something nice for the community," said Bj Tapke, Associate Director for The Sound of Tennessee.
"Cystic fibrosis is a genetic disease; it affects 30,000 people in the U.S., 70,000 worldwide. There are probably about 600 cases in East Tennessee," said Leigh Ellington, Development Director for Cystic Fibrosis Foundation of East Tennessee.
The vocal group has done other charity events, but this one hit closer to home for one of the members, whose son was diagnosed more than 3 decades ago.
"Nathan was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis at about a year old. We were living in Panama and for the next 27 years he struggled against this disease having to take lots of treatments and medication, in and out of the hospital," said Bedford Smith, Nathan's Father.
Through the years Smith says his son never let his smile fade from his face.
"The amazing thing was he maintained his spirit through the whole thing, rarely did he ever complain about it," said Smith.
The young man died 5 years ago, but his father says Nathan's memory will live on, through events like this.
Ellighton says funds raised at events like this help significantly.
"We always say money buys science and science will save lives, " said Ellington. "there is a lot of excitement and hope we just need folks to come out and support us and push us over that finish line because that light is there, and we're close."
"By 2017 could have 95 percent with what we're calling a daily cure of cystic fibrosis," said Ellington.
To find out about other opportunities to help with the fight against cystic fibrosis, click here.