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‘Vendor blender’ benefits those affected by cystic fibrosis

From left, Jordan Hansen and Connor and Danni Graham hope the annual “vendor blenders” make people more aware of cystic fibrosis.   - Kirk Boxleitner
From left, Jordan Hansen and Connor and Danni Graham hope the annual “vendor blenders” make people more aware of cystic fibrosis.
— image credit: Kirk Boxleitner

MARYSVILLE — More than a dozen home-based business vendors gathered at the Kellogg-Marsh Grange May 2 for the second annual “vendor blender” to benefit those affected by cystic fibrosis.

Danni Graham, organizer of the “vendor blender” to raise funds for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, is also the mother of a 6-year-old who was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis when she was only 10 hours old. Graham got the idea by attending a similar “vendor blender” for muscular dystrophy last year, and staged her first “vendor blender” of her own shortly afterward.

The first cystic fibrosis “vendor blender” attracted 12 vendors and netted $158, while this year’s event raised at least $226 with 16 vendors, who donated a minimum of 10 percent of their sales from the event to go toward the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s Great Strides Walk in Seattle May 17.

For Graham, a Tupperware vendor, this cause has a personal significance, since she knows the daily struggles of raising a child with cystic fibrosis. Her daughter, Contessa, was diagnosed after X-rays showed that an intestinal blockage was causing her stomach to become distended.

“That’s typically a red flag for cystic fibrosis,” said Graham, who was joined by her son, Connor, and her niece, Jordan Hansen, at the “vendor blender.” “It was three weeks after she was born before my child could come home. Now, between mornings and nights, I spend at least two hours a day on medical treatments for her.”

Contessa requires medication for allergies, medication before she eats, medication for acid reflux, and a nebulizer to loosen the mucus in her lungs. Graham estimated that she’d be spending $3,000 out of pocket, every month, on Contessa’s medical treatment, if not for state disability insurance, which also covers Contessa’s pulmonary function tests every three months.

“It affects her siblings, because when you have to devote so much more of your time to one child, your other children can feel left out,” Graham said. “But I have to super-careful with her health, and hope that she doesn’t get sick.”

Both Connor and Jordan said they have become much more aware of how such health issues can impact families, due to their own experiences with Contessa.

To learn more about the cystic fibrosis “vendor blender,” you may contact Graham at 425-367-1269.

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