Emily Schreiber was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis (CF) in January of 2003 when she was nine years old. Despite this surprise to her and her family, she confronted her condition with determination and resolve, putting together her first CF fundraising event, dubbed Laps for CF, only six weeks after her diagnosis. An avid swimmer for years, Emily’s idea for the fundraiser focused on individuals pledging dollar amounts for each lap she would swim. Emily’s idea was inspired by a Babysitter’s Club Book she had previously read called Karen’s Bike in which a girl named Karen rode her bike to raise money for a hospital.
Emily’s initial fundraising goal was to raise $3,000. However, in her first year, she raised nearly $60,000. After swimming her laps in a community pool for a couple of years, Emily’s story gained the attention of the state of Alabama’s two most prominent colleges, Auburn University and the University of Alabama. After partnering with Auburn and Alabama to host swim events involving the collegiate swimming and diving teams, the Laps for CF Foundation was born.
The Laps for CF Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to raising awareness of cystic fibrosis and providing financial support in all areas of need for CF research, treatment, care, and improved quality of life. Laps for CF’s priority is to keep funds directly influencing the lives of CF families and improving the local care centers they frequent. Currently, the Laps for CF Foundation has grown to not only include the swim events, but also concerts, event at Talladega Superspeedway, golf tournaments and other various fundraisers. In the summers, Emily and Laps for CF team up with BioGuard, a pool care company, to host BioGuard Splash for CF, a nationwide call to action to encourage everyone to jump in to pool to raise money in the fight against cystic fibrosis. In total, Emily’s efforts have now grossed over $1,000,000.
Currently, Emily is fifteen years old and in the tenth grade. She lives in Birmingham, AL with her parents, Allen and Stella, two brothers, Scott and William, and her dog, Ryder. Emily enjoys hanging out with her family and friends, and in her spare time likes to play piano and swim.
Emily has been highly successful at raising awareness and funds for cystic fibrosis. She has gained the attention of the following national media:
- NBC’s Today Show
- Sports Illustrated
- Sports Illustrated for Kids
- American Girl Magazine
- Crystal Cathedral’s Hour of Power
- Armed Services Network
Emily has received the following awards in recognition of her fundraising efforts:
- Association of Fundraising Professionals’ National Youth in Philanthropy Award, 2008
- Vulcan Park’s Little Giant Award, 2007
- Association of Fundraising Professionals’ Alabama Chapter Youth in Philanthropy Award, 2006
- Genentech Heroes of Hope, 2006
- Recognition by Resolution from Jefferson County, AL Commission, 2006
For more information, please visit lapsforcf.org.