Milwaukee's Finest campaign raises thousands for Cystic Fibrosis Foundation

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by Marshanna Hester

CEDARBURG -- Like any dad, Kip Butler speaks highly of his children.

"She absolutely loves school," he said. "She has a great network of friends. She's a social butterfly."

His only girl, Annie, was diagnosed with the most common form of cystic fibrosis one week after birth.

"It scared us," he continued. "We weren't sure what was going to happen the next day."

Cystic fibrosis, or CF, is a life threatening a disease that affects the lungs and digestive system.

Annie's daily treatment requires her to wake up in the early morning hours to taking breathing treatments and a number of pills.

Now as she approaches the age of 14, Annie focuses her future on her freshman year at Cedarburg High School and the possibility of a cure for CF.

"It's in the infantile stages, but right now, some of the medicines that are out there, it's like, it won't make CF go away, but it will make it medicinally treatable," Kipp said.

"I knew of cystic fibrosis, but didn't know much about it," explained Leah Barton. "It didn't make a big impact on my life or at least I thought."

Leah's mindset changed when she committed herself to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation's Milwaukee's Finest Campaign.

Having the Butler's as her mentor family inspired Leah to raise nearly $7,700. For those top dollars, she was honored as "Milwaukee's Finest."

"Kip is very passionate about his daughter, her care and treatment," she said. "They really opened my eyes to what it means for someone like Annie to deal with this everyday."

In 10 weeks, Leah and 11 other campaign participants brought in nearly $48,000 for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Wisconsin Chapter.

The funds will allow bio-tech companies to research and find a cure for the disease and the Butler's couldn't be more grateful.

"For somebody like her that doesn't have kids, doesn't have any connection with CF, to step forward it impresses my wife and I," Kipp said about Leah.

"I think it's our job as members of the community to help people who can't help themselves," she said."

Leah Barton and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation's Milwaukee's Finest Campaign, Making Milwaukee Great.

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