Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Hixson resident Zac Hogan, 8, is a real life super hero battling cystic fibrosis daily.
The McConnell Elementary School second-grader is optimistic, loves Captain America, draws, reads, plays outside and swims.
“We’ve really gotten involved in the CF community,” said Zac’s father Stephen Hogan, who will participate the Great Strides Walk April 22 at Greenway Farm in Hixson. “Zac was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis at 3 weeks old. He does not let it hold him back. He does everything a child without an illness does.”
Hogan is recruiting people to join Team Zac for the event. Registration starts at 1 p.m. and the walk or fun run begins at 2 p.m. T-shirts for his team cost $12 each. Event proceeds go to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation to fund research toward a CF cure.
He said CF does present challenges for Zac, who does breathing treatments in the morning and night and takes multiple medications. He has a feeding tube at night, two inhalers and a machine to vibrate his chest to break up mucus from his lungs.
“He is the first member of our family to have CF,” said Hogan. “He is disappointed to miss school when he has a cold. He stays caught up and deals with it well.”
Hogan said prior to Zac’s diagnosis, he had not heard of cystic fibrosis, but he now knows that about 70 people in Chattanooga are receiving treatment for CF. He said in recent years due to events like Great Strides that there have been advancements in CF. He said patients now live longer. In the 1950s, he said CF patients lived a short life span, but now can live into their adult years.
“Zac has had 14 or 15 surgeries now,” said Hogan. “He comes through it every time like a champ.”
The Hogan family participated in Great Strides at the River park six years ago. This year they have recruited eight team members and hope to recruit more teammates before the event.
Hogan said he is grateful to his co-workers at Mike Collins and Associates participating in Jeans for Genes this month and grateful for his church family at Sequoyah Baptist Tabernacle for always showing support for Zac and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
To learn more go to www.cff.org and key in Stephen Hogan to view Zac’s full CF story.
Email Katie Ward at email@example.com