By Johnny Jackson
Ellenwood resident, Kevin Anderson, is being recognized for his efforts to bring awareness, and research funding, to a disease not often talked about.
Wells Fargo & Company recently announced its volunteer service award program plans to donate $1,000 to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation in honor of Anderson, branch manager of Wells Fargo Home Mortgage in McDonough.
Anderson is being honored for his work in raising funds and awareness for cystic fibrosis research. Wells Fargo employee, Gina Thater, nominated him for the honor earlier this year.
"He does so much," Thater said. "He and his wife [Jeanette], both, are very involved. I thought he needed to be recognized just for all that he does, he and his wife. They've always tried to do what they can do, and give as much as they can to raise awareness."
Anderson said he became heavily involved in fund-raising efforts several years ago, when he met his wife. Her 17-year-old brother is surviving the chronic disease.
Anderson and his wife organized an annual walk-a-thon for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. The South Metro Atlanta Great Stride Event is held each May by the foundation's Georgia chapter at Clayton County International Park, also known as "The Beach," in Jonesboro.
Anderson's wife helped to create the all-volunteer event 11 years ago and is its current co-chairperson. Anderson credits his wife with helping grow the event over the years, from 50 to 250 participants. The event, he said, has been able to raise some $40,000 each year for cystic fibrosis research.
"My wife and I are especially proud that 90 percent of all donations to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation go to research," Anderson said. "There are a lot of great organizations out there. But the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is a worthy cause, too."
He said funds donated by Wells Fargo & Company will be used to help support patients and their families, as well as to help fund research.
"Research and therapies that have been supported by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation will help increase the life-span and quality of life for our children with cystic fibrosis," said Barbara Bricker, senior director of special events with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
Bricker noted that the foundation has more than 80 chapters nationwide and supports a network of 115 care centers throughout the country, including Children's Healthcare of Atlanta.
"Cystic Fibrosis is a disease that affects both the lungs and the digestive system," she continued. "Right now, it is the most common genetic disease in the United States."
Bricker said she has dealt with Anderson and his wife over the years and has witnessed, first-hand, their devotion to the cause of supporting research. "Nothing stops them," she added.