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South Street Seaport Holds Great Strides Walk To Benefit Cystic Fibrosis Foundation

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Hundreds of people laced up and walked Sunday in the fight against cystic fibrosis.

It was the 30th anniversary of the event known as the Great Strides Walk.

CBS2's Jenna DeAngelis went to the 5K at the South Street Seaport and spoke with those close to the cause.

"It's a lot to deal with and it's hard to take care of," Brianna Deamues said.

Living with cystic fibrosis isn't easy for Deamues. The 11-year-old from the Throggs Neck section of the Bronx just spent two weeks in the hospital.

"Her lung functions were very low," said Jennifer Cortez, Brianna's mother.

Luckily, Cortez said he daughter was showered with love. Her hospital bed was covered with cards from classmates. Sunday was no different in feeling that support.

"That people actually care for us, people who have sickness and want us to get better," Brianna said.

She said he is grateful for all those who took part in Great Strides.

The walk is organized by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation to help raise money and find a cure for the rare, genetic, life-shortening disease.

When asked what it's like to watch her daughter deal with the disease, Cortez said, "It's really hard. It's a struggle every day knowing she has to take medication, knowing she has to go into the hospital. She can't do normal things."

"In school and gym, I can't really run, so I have to mostly sit out during gym or any fun activities I can't do like a normal child," Brianna said.

But putting an end to cystic fibrosis would mean the start of a normal life, for her and the 30,000 other Americans struggling with it.

Carolyn Crandall's son is a fighter, and so is she as a chairwoman of the event.

"It's important to our family because our son, Kiran, was diagnosed with CF right before his first birthday," Crandall said. "It's so overwhelming. It's so wonderful to have this much support."

Crandall said she believes with continued support, great strides will be made.

Each year, more than 125,000 people take part in walks like this one across the country, all with the same mission -- to end cystic fibrosis.

Great Strides is the foundation's largest national fundraising event. Here in New York, more than $327,000 was raised. The money goes right into treatment centers and research to find a cure, CBS2's DeAngelis reported..

Check out more interviews by CBS2's Vanessa Murdock from Sunday's event and for more information, click here.

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