Friend’s death inspires student to raise money for cystic fibrosis

Austin Loukas

Christine Lee, Life Editor

Kevin Hopper was a freshman in high school when he met his good friend Amanda Hine from both being in the high school band together.

“We instantly became friends because she just had such a great personality, she was a kind person,” Hopper says.

Hopper, a senior business administration major and Student Government corresponding secretary said he first learned about the inherited chronic disease cystic fibrosis in junior high school when a contestant on “The Real World” had it. He later learned that his friend Amanda also had the condition when he noticed she was missing school a lot.

Despite the setbacks the disease causes, Hopper says Amanda was able to graduate high school and attend college for a time before her health began to decline.

The average lifespan of a person with the disease is 37.4 years and Hopper says Amanda was one of the fortunate people because of how relatively long she lived. She passed away in June at the age of 25.

The pumpkin fundraiser for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation had been going on since Greg Castelli, a current P4 pharmacy major, came to Wilkes. Hopper became involved in the fundraiser his first year of Student Government as a sophomore.

“Since (Greg) was still on Student Government then, he had asked for support from Student Government to do a donation request however that year the donation request was not approved,” Hopper says. “So we all went to the dorms and sold pumpkins door-to-door.”

Last year Castelli left Student Government but came for a donation request that was not approved again. Hopper says since Castelli was no longer on Student Government, he asked that a committee be formed to oversee the pumpkin selling. Hopper volunteered to step into oversee the pumpkin selling last year with Castelli.

Hopper became involved with the fundraising because of Amanda but her death this summer has made the cause more important to him.

“My connection with her was the reason I got involved my sophomore year with the cystic fibrosis fundraiser, but because of her passing away this summer it was very important that the cause be supported this year,” Hopper says.

Because cystic fibrosis is a disorder that isn’t seen from the outside, Hopper says it is important to be empathetic to everyone you meet. He hopes the fundraising efforts continue after he leaves Wilkes.

“I’m hoping in the future it’s something that the person that is in my position on Student Government’s executive board will continue.”

For more information on how to support the cause of cystic fibrosis, visit the website: http://www.cff.org/