Community Spirit--Becky Patrick - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

09/20/04

Community Spirit--Becky Patrick

Becky Patrick Becky Patrick

Two years ago, an Effingham County woman put on a walk-a-thon to raise money for cystic fibrosis. It brought in $3,000. This year Becky Patrick's trying something different. Her two stepdaughters are battling the disease, which has no cure. She's determined to do whatever it takes to save their lives.

When you see Erin and Emily playing with their little brother David, you'd never know these little girls are battling a terminal disease, a disease that mainly affects the lungs and pancreas.

"They can get pneumonia very easily," explained Becky. "They have to take several medications a day for them to absorb any nutrients that they receive any nutrients in the body. They also have G tubes and take medications before bed and anytime they eat, they must take medicine."

These breathing treatments are a big part of Erin and Emily's day. Becky explained they have to use special vests to loosen up mucous. "They have to do this three times a day," she said. "They do three to ten minute intervals. It just helps to keep it broken up so it doesn't settle and they have to get infections."

Their routine starts at 5:30am each morning. Each session lasts between 45 minutes and an hour. They get one of those treatments in the school nurse's office. We asked Emily and Erin what their friends think about their treatments.

"They always ask me why you have to go to the nurse," said Emily.

"My friends will be in there, they'll ask me what's that smoke? I'll tell them it's the medicine," said Erin.

In spite of their condition, these sisters remain active, playing and winning beauty pageants. That's why their stepmother thought a fundraising pageant to benefit cystic fibrosis would be a perfect fit.

"It makes me feel good to help other people, and I feel that people should get out there and help," said Becky.

That's how Becky Patrick captures the WTOC Community Spirit.

The Mr. & Miss Southern Rose Pageant is Saturday, September 25 at 2pm at the Effingham County Recreational Department in Springfield. Contestants pay $70 to compete. Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for children ten and under.

For more information, call Becky Patrick at 912- 826-0453 or 912-663-9095 or email her at beckypatrick@comcast.net.

Questions or comments concerning WTOC Community Spirit should be directed to Dawn Baker, dbaker@wtoc.com.

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