BILLINGS – The Great Strides Walk to raise money for cystic fibrosis research is this Saturday at Veterans Park in Billings.
And the proceeds will go to help patients like Billings 9-year-old Jonathan Mitchum, who must go through a combination of therapies every day.
Jonathan has seen Dr. Jerimiah Lysinger, Billings Clinic cystic fibrosis center director, for the last several years.
Cystic fibrosis is a progressive, genetic disease that causes persistent lung infections, as well as a buildup of mucus in the pancreas and other organs.
Twice a day, Jonathan takes a new medication called Orkambi.
“It helped me a lot,” Mitchum said.
"I look up to him,” said Donna Neely, Jonathan’s mother. “I tell him he’s my hero. He’s my hero. I’m very proud of Jonathan, very proud of him. He doesn’t let CF get him down, "
"Oh it’s pretty impressive,” Lysinger said. “Jonathan and his mom have been through a lot. they work really hard. Jonathan takes pills at least six times a day and does breathing treatments at least twice a day. Yet he does a full school schedule. He’s an A and B student and an active happy young man."
Check in for this year’s walk, the seventh annual, begins at 9 a.m. The walk starts at 10 a.m.