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Race for Lace

09/01/2014 07:00AM ● Published by Nancy Babin

Register for the Race at

Running is great exercise. It is great for the heart, for the mind, and some would say, for the soul. Along the Emerald Coast early in the morning, running paths are dotted with exercise enthusiasts, dodging each other to get their fitness on. Poll most of them and they would say exercise is essential to their daily routine… everyone from the super-fit marathon runners to the  parents pushing strollers to teens getting in shape to five-year-olds running alongside their families.

Yes, you read that right! If you’re in Baker, chances are good you will see five-year-old Lacy Adams running with her mom or her dad or her siblings or even the whole lot of them!  Lacy too will tell you exercise is essential to her daily routine, because little Lacy has cystic fibrosis (CF).

When Lacy was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis (or “sixty-five roses” as some young patients like to call it) shortly after birth, her parents Lindsay and Travis were given clear guidance by healthcare professionals to keep her healthy. “They told us if we could just keep her healthy until she was five, then a drug would probably come along that would be what insulin is to diabetes,” explains Lindsay. 

According to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, CF is a genetic disease that affects the lungs and digestive system. A defective gene in the individual causes the body to make really thick and sticky mucus that can stop up the lungs. This blockage can, in turn, lead to life-threatening lung infections. That is why exercise is important for Lacy and others with the disease. “Running is good for Lacy’s heart and lungs,” says Dr. Josh Kolmetz, a close friend of the family.  “It helps clear the secretions.”

While eating right and exercising certainly adds to the health of patients with CF, more is still needed. New medications, treatments, and of course a cure is in demand. The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation reports there are only about 30,000 people in the country fighting CF.  “Unfortunately, pharmaceutical companies often don't pursue rare diseases because the drugs would benefit only a small subset of the population,” explains Lindsay. That is why fundraisers are imperative.  Funding for research for treatments and a cure for CF has lain squarely on the shoulders of the families.  “And,” she emphasizes, “We couldn’t do it without the support of our community.”

This is exactly how the Crestview's Race for Lace 5K came into being.  The idea for a “Race for Lace” was started with the guidance of friends Jennifer and Daniel Richards. “They did a 5K race, the Davidson Dash, for their son Caleb, who had cancer.  He is cancer-free now,” says Lindsay.  Josh and Kristy Kolmetz, the Adams’ friends since their college days, stepped in to help.  The communities of Baker and Crestview - including local businesses such as CCSI, Speedee Printing, Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church, many local restaurants and Main Street Medical, Dr. Kolmetz’s office - all give their full support.  Other parents of children with CF such as Laurie Hutchison rallied around little Lacy and helped to make the Race for Lace one of the largest if not the largest, most successful race in the area, raising over $75,000 last year. “That's pretty impressive for a small community like ours!” says Lindsay.

There is good news on the horizon. The research spearheaded by the proceeds from fundraisers like Race for Lace is now paying off.  Profound discoveries have been made like the drug that Lindsay describes. The unnamed medicine came out this year. “She cannot use it yet as it’s in FDA trials, but it should be ready by next summer,” Lindsay explains.  

Up until this point, medications for CF have been developed to fight symptoms, not heal the disease. This one is life-altering, though, because it does more than that. “It treats the defect in cystic fibrosis,” says Dr. Kolmetz. Therefore, it goes straight to the cause to fight and defeat rather than just stave off the symptoms. Because this drug aims to correct cellular defects, it could change history. “They’re thinking CF patients may be able to live normal lives,” he says.  
Who knows? Maybe all the fundraising done by communities in the past is what brought scientists to this point to be able to rewrite history. “It really does take the whole village,” says Lindsay.  “When I first started this and was doing most of it alone, we had only 200 people and raised just $2,000.  When Kristy and Laurie started helping it jumped to $55,000 and then $75,000!  Raising money is something we can do with the generous support of the community.”

It really is a race against time for these children. If you want to get some exercise and get double the rewards when you finish, join Lacy as she runs the Crestview's Race for Lace 5K for the first time this year.  (For more information visit  To register for the race go to  This year the race theme is “Superhero” because every person with CF is a superhero fighting for their lives and every single person who helps is a superhero to all with CF!
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Health+Fitness cystic fibrosis

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