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65 roses

Almost every CF patient has heard CF referred to as "65 roses" at one point in their lives. But how did the disease get such a beautiful sounding nickname? After all, the rose is the universal symbol of love. When you think of receiving a bouquet of 65 roses, you may even get a little giddy thinking about the person who cares for you enough to go out and buy that many of the flower of love. CF is obviously not a very kind disease to the body or to the family members and friends who know the CFer well; you wouldn't naturally associate CF with roses. However, here we are--many children and adults easily recognize cystic fibrosis and 65 roses as both referring to CF. The story of 65 roses touches hearts around the world. Below is the story of how CF got its nickname. As you read it, place yourself in Mary's shoes. In 1965 when this story occurred, the prognosis for a CF patient was not very good--most did not live to adulthood. The CF gene wasn't even found at this point! Knowing this, what emotions would be going through your head? How would you react to your child? How would you continue to have hope for the future? 

Enjoy the story of 65 roses.

"65 Roses Story"
Mary G. Weiss became a volunteer for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation in 1965 after learning that her three little boys had CF. Her duty was to call every civic club, social and service organization seeking financial support for CF research. Mary's 4-year-old son, Richard, listened closely to his mother as she made each call. After several calls, Richard came into the room and told his Mom, "I know what you are working for." Mary was dumbstruck because Richard did not know what she was doing, nor did he know that he had cystic fibrosis. With some trepidation, Mary asked, "What am I working for, Richard?" He answered, "You are working for 65 Roses." Mary was speechless. He could not see the tears running down Mary's cheeks as she stammered, "Yes Richard, I'm working for 65 Roses."


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