When Maura Corcoran was born 32 years ago with cystic fibrosis, Gerald and Myra Corcoran realized they had a duty not only to take care of their daughter, but also to help fight the disease.
The Ocean City couple, whose 30-year-old son Andrew Corcoran also has the genetic disease that affects the entire body, have devoted countless hours to raising money to help the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation fund scientific research.
When Maura was born, she wasn't expected to live to grade-school age. But advances in medicine have helped her and her brother live normal lives despite ongoing medical issues, which included a double-lung transplant for Andrew eight years ago. Maura now is married and lives in Manhattan.
That's why the Corcorans keep holding fundraisers, including an annual golf tournament that returns Monday to Greate Bay Country Club in Somers Point. The 22-year-old tournament has raised more than $2 million since its inception.
The Corcorans, particularly Myra, also talk to other parents of children with cystic fibrosis.
"I don't say that everything will be OK," said Myra, whose 27-year-old son Kevin does not have the disease. "But I encourage them to do the best they can and to get involved to help raise money to pay scientists. Over the years, there have been dramatic changes in the quality of life. I don't really think I am the one making a difference. The people who come to our golf tournament and other fundraisers are the ones really making an impact."
For more information on Monday's tournament, call 609-399-7890.
Southern Regional High School students and faculty recently pledged to fight poor choices, forming a "Chain of Life" of signatures that the district will display at its two high school buildings. Teacher Victoria Trapanese, of Ship Bottom, spearheaded the project, which is sponsored by the school's Students Against Destructive Decisions chapter. ... Mullica Township third-grader Eric Tharp doesn't have to tell classmates about the charitable donation he made this summer - his Mohawk will do it for him. Tharp donated more than 10 inches of hair to Locks of Love in August. The young student had been growing his red hair since he entered kindergarten. "It was down toward almost the middle of his back," said Barbara Manzer, Tharp's second-grade teacher, also of Mullica Township. Tharp had previously been taunted for the length and color of his hair by classmates, but continued to grow it in hopes that "someone special" will appreciate it upon receiving a wig made from his long locks.
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