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Written by
Jeanette Liebold-Ricker
N-M Columnist

Sarah Rini, Pickerington, granddaughter of Gail Rini, Clyde, has cystic fibrosis.Although dealing with the disease, Sarah Rini ran cross country in high school and did quite well.

This summer, she competed in Exercise for Life, a National athletic scholarship program specifically for high school seniors with CF.

“The purpose is to let people know that they can still accomplish things, even with CF,” Gail Rini said.

With more than 109 seniors competing, Sarah was one of the finalists. She was a runner up and was awarded a $1,000 college scholarship from the Boomer Esiason Foundation. The competition was a time trial between Sarah and the clock where she ran 1.5 miles on the track in August at Pickerington High School. A $10,000 scholarship was awarded to the male and female with the fastest time.

Sarah wasn’t diagnosed with CF until she was 8 or 9, said Gail Rini. It is unusual for more than one child in the family to have the same disease, but her younger brother, Myles, a fourth-grader, also was diagnosed, but at an earlier age. He also is a runner. Their parents are Eric and Melissa Rini.

People with CF learn that it is important to keep their lungs, which are muscles, worked through exercise to keep them clear and strong.

This athletic scholarship program was created to assist high school senior athletes with cystic fibrosis pursuing undergraduate degrees. The goal is to improve the quality of life and increase the life span of people with CF through daily physical exercise such as jogging — which combined with medication and therapy routines, should be part of a daily routine. Sarah is now a freshman at Capital University in Columbus and is on the cross country team.

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