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Event raises money for Cystic Fibrosis research

PEDRO — There was a lot going on at the Rock Hill Local School District Sunday.

Baseball and softball dominated the outdoor activities as family and friends cheered loudly for players on the field, but just a short walk from the fields, the Child Development Center played host to a quieter event.

Zion’s Warriors, a group formed around 2-year-old Zion Melvin, an Ironton boy with Cystic Fibrosis, invited vendors and the public to join them in their goal of raising money for cystic fibrosis research.

“Not one cent of research is funded by the U.S. government,” Erica Melvin, Zion’s mother, said. “We are doing this today because no child should be born with CF. No child should have to live with the hospital visits or the disease. Every dollar helps.”

Melvin said Cystic Fibrosis is a genetic disease, and her and her husband had a one in four chance each time they had a child to have a baby with CF, something they had no idea of until Zion was born. She said 10 million Americans carry the gene and are not aware of it.

Tracey Fields, a friend of Melvin’s and coordinator of the event, said they chose to have the event at Rock Hill to bank off the traffic from the nearby ball games.

“We figured we would get good traffic after the games,” Fields said. “We have put flyers on cars, made a Facebook page and of course just got the word out through word of mouth.”

Cystic Fibrosis currently has no cure, and Fields said you cannot get a cure without research and that needs funding. Like Melvin, she said every little bit helps, and anyone looking to donate to the Cystic Fibrosis foundation can do so.

Melvin will be participating in the 2013 Huntington – Barboursville Park, Shelter #8 Great Strides walk May 11. Great Strides is a national walk event sponsored by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

Those who would like to sponsor Melvin, and donate to her cause can do so at www.cff.org/great_strides/acureforzion.