Leah and Evan Sauber laugh and play like any other children their age, but their childhood is unlike most. Both were born with Cystic Fibrosis, a genetic disease that affects nearly every aspect of their young lives.
Eight-year-old Leah, and six-year-old Evan, both eat a strict diet of salt and fats. Cystic Fibrosis affects the lungs, sinuses, and digestive tract, eventually causing complications with diabetes. Parents Eric and Kim Sauber say visits to the doctor and hospital can be frequent, as is the regimen of 10 to 20 enzyme pills both children must take with meals daily.
“It’s part of our lives every day, and we’ve kind of gotten into a routine,” said Eric Sauber. He added, “We work together and help each other, our families help out quite a bit.”
Evan and Leah also spend about two hours each day hooked up to a pulsating vest that helps to clear and break up mucus from the lungs. Much of this time is spent playing on their iPads and listening to music from their favorite band, Big Time Rush.
The Nickelodeon pop stars are so important to the Sauber’s that they know all the member’s names, and have a shrine of posters, magazine clippings and cd’s in their basement. This enthusiasm will only be cranked up, when the family attends the Big Time Rush concert at the Toledo Zoo Amphitheatre on July 30th.
“Just to see them and just that awe of being right in front of them, this time it’s gonna be really neat,” said Kim Sauber.
The Sauber’s began “Leah’s Light” after she was born to create awareness and fundraising opportunities to support the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. When Evan was born, “Leah’s Light” became “Sauber’s Strength.”
“The foundation that we have is very amazing,” said Kim Sauber. “Ninety cents to every dollar that we raise goes directly to research, and it’s why we’re very close to a cure.”
Along with other events throughout the year, the team will fund-raise and participate on May 4th at the Great Strides Walk. In past years, thousands of supporters have helped the Sauber’s raise over $200,000 to go towards finding the cure for Cystic Fibrosis.