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Prom to benefit Cystic Fibrosis

Seth James is one patient who will benefit from the 80's prom. (Source KSWO) Seth James is one patient who will benefit from the 80's prom. (Source KSWO)

LAWTON, OK (KSWO) - One Facebook group is giving people another chance to go to prom Friday, June 10, and it'll help raise money for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation of Oklahoma.

The fundraiser, themed "Awesome 80s Prom," will be held in Medicine Park's Music Hall.

Eddie Neugebauer is an administrator for the Facebook group, "The Lawton Ranstitution," which is one of the groups sponsoring the event. He says while the blast from the past style prom will be a good time, more importantly all of the proceeds raised will fund cystic fibrosis research, and so far they've raised approximately $3,500.

"We don't care how you dress,” Neugebauer said. “You don't have to come in your 80s attire or your big hair if you don't want to. It is welcome, of course. Bring extra money with you, because like I said we are having auctions and raffles and door prizes. We want you to spend as much money as you can spend with us."

Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door. You can purchase your tickets at the Comfort Suites or Southwest Oral Surgery. It is open to all ages, however they will be checking ID's at the door because there will be two cash bars for those who are of age to drink.

Mandy James and Kent James have a son who was born with cystic fibrosis. Seth is 17 years old, and has to do physical therapy almost three times a day. Medicines alone can cost more than $400,000 a year, and since CF isn't a government-funded disease, people with the disease depend on the help from events like this one.

Cystic fibrosis is a genetic disease where both parents must carry the gene in order to pass it to a child. Mandy James says she wouldn't wish this disease upon anyone, but says it has only made her family stronger.

"There’s silver linings to everything,” Mandy said. “You know, there's so much that life wouldn't be without it. Not that I’m glad that my kid has this, but I’m glad that it's given us something to journey towards and appreciate."

CF affects the lungs and digestive system and has no cure. It causes patients to have a hard time breathing at any time of the day. Seth James was born with CF, and says flare-ups can happen at any moment.

"Your throat will just get dry, and it'll trigger an itch or something,” Seth said. “And you'll just start coughing, you know, a whole whole bunch. And it'll just...you know for minutes at a time you just can't really breathe in very deeply, and you'll just keep coughing until it kind of calms back down."

Seth is a very energetic person, and enjoys wrestling and being outdoors. He says he tries to not let his condition affect him because it's not the way his parents raised him. Seth says he is thankful for his parents and how strong they have been for him.

"It really makes it a lot easier just knowing that you know, you're not alone in it,” Seth said. “And they've always been there to you know to tell me that I need to take my meds even when it gets super annoying, and when I don't want to do it and stuff like that. Because it really does take a toll on you mentally having to do all that stuff just to kind of be normal and be able to go through the days like every other person."

Mandy says it's been a team effort to help stay strong for Seth, but even having dealt with the disease for 17 years, it still can be very emotional for her and her husband.

"Kent and I talk in private, and we have our weaker moments,” Mandy said. “But we've always tried to not show weakness about it in front of Seth. Really in front of our girls too. Because I mean, everybody in this house has had to sacrifice so much because of this disease. But we've also gained friends that we would've never had. We've learned things we would've never learned."

The prom starts at 8 p.m. Friday night. And in case you were wondering what to wear, coordinators encourage big hair, leg warmers, and of course stone washed jeans. 

The proceeds from the prom will also help fund the Cystic Fibrosis Annual Great Strides Walk held this Saturday at the Lawton/Ft. Sill Veteran’s Center. Registration for the walk starts at 9 a.m., followed by the walk at 10 a.m.

Copyright 2016 KSWO. All rights reserved.

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