Becoming a parent means giving up certain things from our pre-kid lives, or at the very least, it means putting them on hold. That comes as no surprise unless you’ve actually never met a baby before. But for Nathan and Anne Perdue, parenting their almost 2-year-old son Wyatt didn’t necessarily get easier over time. While other parents celebrated their increasing freedom as their children grew more independent, Nathan, Anne, and thousands of parents like them continue to face the daily struggles of raising a child with a progressive disease.
Wyatt is a happy and energetic toddler and looking at his smiling face, you’d never know he was living with Cystic Fibrosis. Cystic fibrosis damages the lungs as well as the digestive system, and over time, breathing becomes increasingly difficult. Tragically, those with cystic fibrosis have a life expectancy between 40-48 years.
Though there is no cure for cystic fibrosis yet, treatment options to address symptoms of the disease have come a long way. For parents like Nathan and Anne, the progress is promising – but it’s not enough. The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s mission is to cure the disease, and Nathan is determined to help them get there. In Wyatt’s honor, Nathan is raffling off some of his prized bourbon, donating proceeds to the foundation.
“Sixty years ago, children with CF usually did not live long enough to attend elementary school,” Nathan explained on his fundraising page. “Today, because of Foundation-supported research and care, the median survival age of people with CF is about 40. This is remarkable progress, but not good enough. We continue to lose precious lives to CF every day.”
The Kentucky Derby Museum partnered with Nathan in support of his noble mission, helping the dedicated dad sell raffle tickets for $100 each. The winner will be selected on September 24, taking home five bottles of Pappy Van Winkle bourbon valued at $18,250.
“To think that a small part of Wyatt’s legacy is attached to those bottles is pretty amazing,” Nathan told WTHR. “So if this is in a small way can add research dollars to be able to have that happen in his lifetime? That would just be…that would mean the world to us.”