People in Emporia laced up their tennis shoes and hit the track for a good cause Tuesday night.
They took part in Laps for Landon, a fundraiser that helps raise money for Cystic Fribrosis research.
Ever since it started in 2007, it’s been a staple in the Emporia community.
Jennifer Thomas and a team of volunteers worked all day to get things set up for the event.
For Thomas, Laps for Landon isn’t just an event she organizes every year. It was a way for her to help a friend whose son was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis.
“Just to see his battle on a daily basis, when you care about those people, you want to do something,” said Thomas. “So, this event is just that chance for once a year everybody to come together.”
Cystic Fibrosis is a genetic disease that causes persistent lung infections and makes it hard to breath over time. More than 30,000 Americans live with the disease, half of them adults, and 1,000 more are diagnosed each year.
Through Laps for Landon, the community has shown a large outpouring of support for Landon’s family and others affected by the disease.
The Dreier family is one of them.
Their three year-old son Aiden was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis shortly after he was born.
“At first, it was hard,” said Aiden’s mom Amanda. “But, once we got over the diagnosis of him having it, we were able to be like ‘okay, there’s nothing we can do about it. Let’s fight it’.”
Despite the disease, she said Aiden is thriving, and that the support from the community has helped her and her family stay positive.
“It’s really nice to have that support in the community to raise awareness,” said Dreier. “It makes us feel so blessed to be part of a community that cares so much.”
Taking some laps around the track wasn’t the only thing going on inside Welch Stadium. There were games, a barbecue, silent auctions and prizes.
All of the money raised from the event goes to the Cystic Fibrosis Network.