‘Clay’s Team’ raising awareness, money for cystic fibrosis

‘Clay’s Team’ raising awareness, money for cystic fibrosis
By BRAD GASKINS
News Editor
A Dresden Elementary School student and his family are hoping to bring awareness to and raise money for cystic fibrosis.
Clay’s Team – named after Clay Higgs, 10 – raises money for cystic fibrosis research.
It’s a cause that’s near and dear to the hearts of Clay and his family, because Clay was diagnosed with it when he was three months old.
Clay’s Team will participate May 18 in the Great Strides walk sponsored by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. It will be held at Everett Stewart Regional Airport. The team is made up of Clay’s family and friends.
Also, on the second Thursday of each month, the Martin Sonic donates 10 percent of sales made from 5-8 p.m. to Clay’s Team. All the money, through the team, goes directly to the CFA, not specifically to Clay or his family.
Clay is a fourth-grader at Dresden Elementary. He enjoys playing video games and wants to be a policeman when he grows up so he can drive cars, shoot guns and eat donuts, he said. He wants to drive monster trucks on the weekends.
Clay was born weighing 5.11 pounds, but within a few weeks his weight had dropped to five pounds. He couldn’t keep any food down and constantly threw it up, according to his parents, Shane and Tina Higgs of Dresden.
He was twice admitted to a local hospital and saw two pediatricians, the second of which told the family he thought Clay’s problem was a genetic one. Clay was admitted to a Memphis hospital the next day.
He stayed there for 17 days and went through a series of tests, and a sweat test was positive for cystic fibrosis. The test consisted of heating up what were essentially mini plants and putting them on his arm to produce sweat. One of the mini plates slipped beneath a bandage and burned him.
“I still have the scar,” Clay said.
His mother was upset with the diagnosis.
“I had known some about it (cystic fibrosis) before he was diagnosed with it,” Tina Higgs said. “I never suspected he had it. It was hard to deal with.”
Clay has regular check ups every three months in Memphis.
Every day, he undergoes chest therapy and breathing treatments to loosen the mucus in his lungs.
“Most of them face double-lung transplants,” Tina Higgs said of those with cystic fibrosis. “That’s usually what their future is.”
To learn more about how you can help Clay’s Team in the fight against cystic fibrosis, check out their Facebook page at facebook.com/claysteam.
To learn more about cystic fibrosis, please visit cff.org.
Published in The WCP 5.2.13

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