BY BILL PHILLIPS
When Sarah Schleich was pregnant she got to know another expectant mother.
Sarah delivered Sawyer, a healthy baby boy. However, her new friend’s daughter, Norah, was born with a hereditary disorder affecting her exocrine glands.
“Norah is a three-and-a-half-year-old little girl in Prince George who has cystic fibrosis,” says Sarah.
Prior to their children being born, they talked about plans they had for their children and what types of things their children might do together.
“All of these dreams, and when you have a diagnosis of cystic fibrosis, it takes that away,” she says. “It doesn’t discriminate.”
Cystic fibrosis causes the production of abnormally thick mucus, leading to the blockage of the pancreatic ducts, intestines, and bronchi and often resulting in respiratory infection.
Until Sarah met little Norah, she knew very little about the disorder.
“That forever changed our perspective,” says Sarah. “Right now, cystic fibrosis has no cure. At the end of the day, cystic fibrosis will take that person’s life. That’s a pretty scary thing to look at when you’re looking at a little three-and-a-half-year-old girl.”
Sarah realized that there weren’t a lot of events in the city raising funds to find a cure for cystic fibrosis. So she decided to start one.
Last year she hosted a barbecue at Hub City Volkswagen on Queensway and raised $1,700. This year Team Norah’s Second Annual Hotdog/Bake Sale Extravaganza will be on Sunday and is shaping up to be bigger and better than last year.
There will be hot dogs and a bake sale. Cute Cakes will make cookies in the shape of an ‘N’ for Norah. For $7 you can get a hot dog, a bottle of water, and a Cute Cakes cookie.
Sarah says she is amazed by the number of bakers who “step up to the plate,” and donate baked goods for the bake sale. Leftovers got to St. Vincent de Paul, so nothing is wasted.
MP Make-up Artistry will be there to do face-painting by donation. Costumes for a Cause will also be there and they will be bringing Rubble and Skye from Paw Patrol … always a favourite.
Sarah will have sidewalk chalk for the budding artists. In addition, her husband Richard will be trying to stay dry as he has volunteered to be the “sacrificial lamb” for a dunk tank.
“He’ll be the sacrificial lamb,” says Sarah, with a laugh.
Plus, there will be a silent auction with items donated by 24 local businesses.
Everything will be held in the parking lot at Hub City Volkswagen on Queensway. The event runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday, May 14, and is open to the public.
The event is definitely getting bigger. Last year, when they posted the event on Facebook, they had 58 people confirmed and 18 interested. Today, there are 102 confirmed and 68 interested.
“If we could continue to grow it, I’d love to outgrow this parking lot,” she says. “ … My end goal would be to bust my butt, for as long as it takes, to have a cystic fibrosis walk as big as the Relay for Life.”
Sunday will be Mother’s Day, which, says Sarah, is a fitting day to raise money for cystic fibrosis.
“It could be a double-edged sword,” she says. “But what better way to spend your time than with your kids and they’re playing and having a great time … At the same time, you’re helping another mother.”