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Branen battles on and off the field

The Wisconsin Football Coaches Association (WFCA) All-Star Football Game brings together Wisconsin’s best high-school football players to compete in three all-star games and raise money for Children’s. Over the past ten years, the athletes and their coaches have raised more than $3 million in support of Children’s programs and services.

The week prior to the games, players participate in the WFCA football camp with an opportunity to meet and hear stories shared by current and former patients of Children’s (Children’s Champions). Children’s Champion Branen Gordon has visited the WFCA camp and attended the games for many years.

Branen was born with cystic fibrosis, which requires daily treatment and regular visits to Children’s. One of his dreams was to grow up and play in the all-star game, and this year the high-school senior’s dream will become a reality.

As part of the WFCA All-Star Game fundraising experience, players and coaches pledge to raise a minimum of $750 each. Taking the opportunity to raise funds for the organization that has been a second home and family to him, Branen went above and beyond to raise an astounding $9,200 for Children’s. 

Cystic fibrosis is an inherited chronic disease that affects the lungs and digestive system of about 30,000 children and adults in the United States, and 70,000 worldwide. In the 1950s, few children with cystic fibrosis lived to attend elementary school. Today, advances in research and medical treatments have further enhanced and extended life for children and adults with cystic fibrosis. Many people with the disease can now expect to live into their 30s, 40s and beyond.

Branen has been visiting Children’s his entire life, beginning when he was only one month old. Today, his daily regimen involves taking an average of 60 pills, completing one hour of chest percussion therapy and receiving nutrition from a feeding tube to help him maintain his weight. He also makes regular visits to Children’s for antibiotics and extensive prevention treatments to keep him healthy.

During his lifetime, many of Branen’s milestones have taken place at the hospital. The Children’s Cystic Fibrosis Center has some of the best lung and nutrition outcomes in the country. Branen has benefited from the programs and services that help support kids in the hospital and are only made possible through donor support.

In July, Branen will continue to beat the odds to reach the football field and play in the WFCA All-Star Football Game.

Help us help kids like Branen by making a donation today.

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