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Local mom to run in Miles for Cystic Fibrosis fundraiser
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Kendra Losch is no athlete: She’s just a mom who loves her children.

But Sunday, the Covington resident will be at Centennial Park in Atlanta with her family, taking part in the Miles for Cystic Fibrosis event.

Losch, her husband, Torry, their 5-year-old daughter Mackenzie and their 2-year-old daughter Torianna will be there in support of Torianna, who was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis when she was 2 weeks old.

"I am not a runner," Kendra Losch said.

Cystic fibrosis is a chronic disease of the lungs and digestive system that’s inherited. It’s relatively rare, effecting 30,000 in the United States and 70,000 worldwide. Torianna is one of two children in Newton County and of 700 in Georgia with cystic fibrosis, according to her mother.

There’s a regimen to Torianna’s treatment. She takes 37 pills a day and has to wear a toddler-sized hot pink vest twice a day that helps to break up the mucous.

Treatment will be ongoing, and the disease will progress. That’s why running is an appropriate fundraiser for cystic fibrosis, Losch said.

"It's like a race that never ends," she said.

Cardio-vascular exercise is needed to help battle cystic fibrosis, so it's becoming part of the family activities for the Losch's.

The adults are participating as part of the 103-member Team 65 Roses. The team takes its name from a child's mangling of the term "cystic fibrosis" into "65 roses," Losch said.

Teammates include Laurie Deemer, the family dentist and family friend, who is running for Torianna and for a grand-nephew Christian, who also has cystic fibrosis.
There's a marathon ((26.2 miles) and half-marathon (13.1 miles). The parents and Deemer are running the half-marathon.

The Losch children are part of the 26-member Rosebuds team. There's a fun run and a 5-K event for children on Sunday.

The family has raised $800 for the fundraiser and the team has raised $43,310, according to its website. Funds raised by 65ROSES go to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and the Cystic fibrosis-Reaching Out Foundation.

This will be the first run for Kendra and Torianna, and the second for Mackenzie.

Kendra has been training since January. She was inspired to participate after watching last year's event, and the adults with cystic fibrosis who were running.

People with cystic fibrosis now live well into adulthood, but in the 1950s, few children with the disease lived into their teens, according to a pamphlet from

Losch learned she was a carrier for the gene that causes cystic fibrosis when she was in her first trimester of pregnancy with Torianna. Her husband turned out to be a carrier, too, which increased the odds of having a child with cystic fibrosis to 25 percent, according to Losch.

Mackenzie is a carrier, too, but is disease free.

Losch remains upbeat.

"The diagnosis was life-changing, but its changes are for the better," she said.

She said the family has learned to love more, live more in the moment, and appreciate the time they have with Torianna.

Because of its rarity, there has been little publicity of the disease or of the work of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation in battling the disease. Drugs are in development and the potential for a cure is out there, Losch said.

And that's why the Losch family will be running on Sunday.
"We're hopeful for her future," Kendra Losch said. "We're hoping for a cure."