NEW YORK (CBS 2) — It was a Run to Breathe, as thousands of people came out for the first-ever Boomer Esiason Foundation cystic fibrosis fundraiser in Central Park.
For the famous host, it was truly a family affair, reports CBS 2’s Kristin Thorne.
Thousands of people got their breathing going in order to help those who can’t breathe well on Saturday.
The run in Central Park generated money for those suffering with cystic fibrosis, a fatal respiratory disease that attacks the lungs.
Former NFL quarterback Boomer Esiason organized the first annual Run to Breathe through his foundation, which helps those with cystic fibrosis.
“We’re promoting healthy living for our CF patients, including for my son, Gunnar, who will make his first attempt at a 10K this morning,” Esiason said.
CBS 2 caught up with Gunnar Esiason after he’d finished the run. He explained the importance of exercise for those suffering from cystic fibrosis, as it helps clear out their lungs and helps them breathe better.
“You know, I’m in the gym four or five times a week. It clears my lungs, helps me out big time,” he said. “I’m also playing hockey, stuff like that, to keep me active, but running’s huge for us – it keeps us healthy.”
After crossing the finish line, many participants wanted to check their times to see how they did among everyone else. Of course, all that competitive spirit was for a good cause.
For some people, that cause was especially close to them. Sally Bell did the 10K for her son, Steven, who suffers from cystic fibrosis.
“He asked me to do this one night in February, he said ‘you want to run the marathon?’ And I looked at him and I just said, ‘yes,’” Bell said. “Then he said, ‘well we’re going to do this in July,’ and I said okay.”
Boomer Esiason, also a WFAN radio host, has been an advocate for cystic fibrosis since Gunnar was diagnosed at 2 years old. Since then, his foundation has raised nearly $100 million.