Dusted Charm, a local clothing boutique, held a “give back” event Friday with 25% of the day’s proceeds to be donated to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation in honor of 17-month-old community member Jason Jensen, who was born with cystic fibrosis.
The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation describes Cystic Fibrosis as a mutation in the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) gene causing irregularities for the CFTR protein. This causes chloride, a component of salt, to process incorrectly, pushing chloride and water to the cell surface and causing mucus to become thick and sticky in some organs.
The lungs, in particular, trap mucus, often causing infection or inflammation. Due to the seriousness of infection, contact with germs must be minimized.
“It’s hard, knowing what might be in front of him some day. He’s already on a medication he might be on for the rest of his life that could cause liver damage, cataracts or headaches,” said, Michele Johnson, Jensen’s grandmother.
According to Johnson, besides the daily medication, Jensen wears a percussion vest connected to an air hose to keep mucus from building up in his lungs.
He also sees a doctor every two months to check his lungs for germs or infection.
“The money helps not only with research but also families that can’t afford the medications and things like that,” Johnson said.
Johnson said most people don’t know much about Cystic Fibrosis unless it affects them, but the movie “Five Feet Apart” is a good example of the illness in teenagers.
Store owner Rebecca Wiggins is a friend and former coworker of Jensen’s mother, and that friendship was part of why the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation was chosen.
“My daughter was born with a genetic disorder, and now her son is ill, so they’ve followed a similar path as us,” Wiggins said of the Jensens.
Wiggins and Jensen’s mother had worked at Iowa Western Community College together. However, Wiggins resigned from her position shortly after her daughter was born.
Her daughter is also a driving factor to working at Dusted Charm and holding events for the community since the community had supported her family and Dusted Charm.
“A huge part of our mission is to give back to the community,” Wiggins said.
This was the second “give back” event hosted by Dusted Charm, with the first event raising $1,000 for a school in Omaha.
Dusted Charm promoted those events online, but so far, word of mouth has drawn the most people.
“Everybody likes to know their dollars are going to a cause,” Wiggins said.
Dusted Charm is planning to host two “give back” events each month with Lewis and Clark Elementary School and Lewis Central High School mentioned as upcoming causes. Most of the year is already booked, but there is about one opening left.
To schedule a “give back” event contact email@example.com.