East Texas Hero Of The Month: Maci Drewry
We hear stories all the time about ordinary people doing extraordinary things all over the world. But a lot of people don't realize there are people doing amazing things right in their own backyard. We thought it would only be appropriate to start recognizing these local people who are making a difference here in East Texas as well as across the country.
We're starting with a beautiful 9-year-old girl living with Cystic Fibrosis, who is doing everything above and beyond to bring awareness to this disease so that doctors can find a cure. All the while, living a normal life.
Maci Drewry was only 3 years old when she was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis. Cystic Fibrosis is an inherited that causes thick, sticky mucus to build up in the lungs, digestive tract and other areas of the body. She was diagnosed with the delta f508 gene for CF- which is the most common. She was also diagnosed with the W1282x mutation, which is the rarest and most severe type of CF.
She has to take 40 pills every day just to remain healthy, and spend four hours per day on a vest to break up the mucus in her lungs. She has been hospitalized numerous times and has pulled through every time, even when things didn't look so bright. She hasn't let any of that slow her down. Maci is part of the national-champion Spirit of Tyler cheer team, attends All Saints Episcopal, goes to the lake and runs around with friends, living her life as normal as possible.
Growing up she knew she was different, and began to grow insecure. But instead of letting it bring her down, she decided to bring awareness to it. She began telling her friends and classmates about her disease and explained why she does some of the things that she does.
She began to come home every day and work on a video to put online to get the word out about Cystic Fibrosis. She started using social media to get people to watch her video and help bring awareness to the disease. As of date, Maci has just under 11,200 followers on Twitter and more 10,100 views on her video on YouTube.
Among Maci's followers and supporters are stars such as Justin Beiber and his whole crew, Jaden Smith, Selena Gomez, 'Dancing With The Stars' contestant Roshon Fegan, and a large number of Disney Channel stars. Some of the Dallas Cowboys such as Miles Austin and DeMarcus Ware were seen wearing her 'Maci's Miracle Miles' bracelets at their big Thanksgiving Day game at Cowboys Stadium.
Maci has teamed up with Davis Cleveland, young star of Disney's "Shake It Up," to bring even more awareness to this cause. The two combined have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to help researchers find a cure for CF. Keep in mind that these two aren't even teenagers yet and are doing more for this one cause than most people do in a lifetime. Both have been recognized both locally and nationally for their efforts, receiving numerous awards for their hard work and dedication.
Maci has created a handful of simple ways to help bring awareness to her cause. She started with her Maci's Miracle Miles team, a part of Cystic Fibrosis Foundations Great Strides fundraising event, here in Tyler a few years ago. Now there are Macis's Miracle Miles teams taking part in these Great Strides walks all over the country -- in places such as Chicago, Orlando and Los Angeles. She has a line of lip balm that you can purchase where all proceeds go to funding CF research. You can also purchase bracelets, t-shirts, bags, and all kinds of other goodies that give 100 percent to finding a cure.
The Tyler chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation has scheduled this year's Great Strides walk for Sept. 29 at Bergfeld Park in Tyler.
You can click here to register and become a part of Maci's Miracle Miles. You can (and should) follow Maci on Twitter, share her video and keep spreading the word about this amazing girl and her goals for finding a cure for this disease that slows her down each and every day. This girl is an inspiration to me and to so many people, help support her efforts and stand behind her as she fights this daily battle.
Thank you, Maci, for doing everything you do, and being a hero for people everywhere! We're proud to call you our East Texas Hero of the Month.