WESLEY CHAPEL, Fla. — Breathing.
It's something Kira Taylor has had to fight to do for decades.
"I was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis when I was 10-months-old," she said.
According to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Taylor is one of about 30,000 people in the U.S. with the "rare genetic disease."
It causes persistent mucus build-up in the lungs, infections and affects your breathing. Taylor said triggers for a flare-up are everywhere from certain foods to physical activities and even perfume.
"My chest starts to tighten up and it gets harder to breathe and a flare-up, I could also start coughing a lot," she said.
The pandemic has only made things worse.
"It's scary, especially now when you get sick because my biggest fear is having to go into the hospital," Taylor said.
To help keep herself safe — and as close to home as much as possible during the pandemic — Taylor said she contacted a Cystic Fibrosis foundation called "Claire's Place" for help.
"They gave us some [financial] support because they have a COVID emergency help program," Taylor said. "And, then also, my mom is part of their 'Work Proudly' program which helps caregivers be able to have jobs at home so then they can help their sons or daughters who have Cystic Fibrosis."
Ever since then, Taylor said she's been looking for a way to show her thanks. And she believes an event called "The Crossing for CF," happening June 22-26, is the way to do that.
"Crossing for CF is an 80-mile paddleboarding challenge event which all the money goes to people with cystic fibrosis," she said.
Claire's Place will have a team participating in the challenge and while Taylor can't physically join them, she's raising money to support their trip and hopes people in the community will do the same.
"It's really cool because you know exactly where the money is going to and just that it's for a great cause," she said.