$1,075 of $2,000
25 donations

This fundraiser ended on 09/02/11

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Friends of Sharlie Ross Kaltenbach are raising money to help with medical expenses for a double lung transplant.

A group of friends and Sharlie's husband Ryan ran in the Free to Breathe 5K run on August 20, 2011 in San Diego. We have decided to dedicate the race and raise money for Sharlie Ross Kaltenbach a friend who has Cystic Fibrosis and is in need of a double lung transplant - please take the time to watch the YouTube video on the left side of this page.

Any amount you can donate will help. We appreciate your generosity and support!

Elyse Wait Valdivieso
Aubry Lopez
Ricky Lopez
Aimee Porter
Sarah Sabin
Scott Sabin
Amy Hansen
Brandon Hansen
Tyler Hansen
Lona Padua
Capi Padua Handy
Melanie Cox
Danny Cox
Tara Bennett
Kayla Nebeker
Ciera Blunt
Uale Taotafa
Faren Taotafa
Spencer Sessions
Ryan Kaltenbach (Sharlie's husband)

On, March 19, 1979, Sharlie became the newest member born into a family with three older, healthy siblings. It wasn’t until 14 months later that she was diagnosed with the deadly medical condition of Cystic Fibrosis (CF). At the time of her diagnosis, Sharlie wasn’t expected to live past the age of 10. Shortly after Sharlie’s diagnosis, her mother gave birth to another baby girl, Lexi, who was also diagnosed with CF, this time within a few days of birth.

Growing up, Sharlie and Lexi were inseparable. They grew even closer due to the common bond of living with Cystic Fibrosis. Sharlie watched her younger sister, best friend, confidante and playmate physically degenerate before her eyes. Sadly, Lexi lost her life to Cystic Fibrosis at the tender age of 14. How scary it must have been for Sharlie to know that her own disease would eventually have the same effect on her body over time. She and her mother lovingly held Lexi as she passed from this life into the next, leaving Sharlie to continue on her journey without her little sister.

Sharlie shares about this experience in her own words:

“I suddenly had a distinct impression that Lexi was looking down on me with her little hands on her waist. I could feel she was not happy with me. I could almost hear her saying, ‘Shar, buck up!! I never, ever gave up, I fought for every last breath and you are NOT allowed to give up. Your mission is not complete. I will always be with you…KEEP FIGHTING!’ That night I resolved to fight, to never take one precious breath for granted. There have been times when it has not been easy and I have felt discouraged but I feel Lexi’s presence so strong and I know she is still with me, helping me in my battle and reminding me of the lessons she taught me, lessons that always bring peace and hope.”

Today, at the age of 32, Sharlie has beaten many odds, not the least of which has been outliving her original life expectancy by more than 22 years! In addition to her incredible will to not only survive, but thrive, her accomplishments are many. She served as a student body officer, graduated from high school and has continued her education through research, study and online courses. Sharlie is a massage therapist, an accomplished writer and has spoken to audiences around the world. She has taken a proactive approach to her own health, studying nutrition and healing, and is building a thriving home-based business.

Sharlie gracefully balances being a wife and mother with taking care of herself and keeping up with her rigorous daily schedule of treatments and exercise. She also finds great fulfillment in enriching the lives of those around her. She serves as a youth leader in her church and loves being involved in the Cystic Fibrosis community – raising awareness, fundraising, connecting with others with CF online and speaking at CF functions. In 2010, Sharlie was honored with the prestigious “Woman Who Takes Our Breath Away” award from the San Diego Chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and was the keynote speaker at the annual CF Gala.

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