Baldwin couple continues fight against cystic fibrosis

BALDWIN – Cystic fibrosis is a phrase that most young children cannot even pronounce, yet comprehend what it actually is.

Yet there about 30,000 Americans, many of them children, that suffer with the disease every day.

While the disease may not have the awareness that other childhood diseases such as autism has, one Lake County family is seeking to change that.

Dave and Char Dagen of Baldwin are grandparents to Logan, a 4-year-old boy who was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis when he was 4-months-old in December 2007.

Upon hearing the news, the Dagens asked their son who is Logan’s father what they could do to help.

“I talked to my son and asked what we can do and he got involved with (the Cystic Fibrosis Greater Michigan Chapter in Grand Rapids) and asked if we could help out down here and that’s how we got started,” Dave Dagen said.

The couple started up Logan’s Heroes, a group that raises money and donates 100 percent of it’s proceeds to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

Logan’s Heroes will be holding its fourth annual dinner and auction on Saturday at the Baldwin AMVETS Post 1988, located at 1959 West 24th Street.

The event will feature a barbecue pulled pork or chicken sandwich, catered by Debbie’s Sportsman’s Lounge of downtown Baldwin and a silent auction.

This year’s items include items donated by Ted Nugent, the Detroit Tigers, the Detroit Lions, the Detroit Red Wings and Green Bay Packers and overnight and day packages and gift certificates.

The big prize will be a raffle for stainless gas grill that was donated by Ace Hardware of Baldwin, with tickets costing $5.

With the fundraiser it its fourth year, Char Dagen has high hopes for the results based on what the community has done in the past.

“We have far exceeded our expectations,” she said. “We make up 25 percent of the donations for the (Cystic Fibrosis Greater Michigan Chapter in Grand Rapids) which I think is awesome for Lake County, given the bad (reputation) we have.”

“It’s really overwhelming.”

According to the United States National Library of Medicine, cystic fibrosis is a passed down through families that causes thick, sticky mucus to build up in the lungs, digestive tract, and other areas of the body. It is one of the most common chronic lung diseases in children and young adults.

Those born with the disease at one point were not expected to live to make it to the first grade and now can live well into their 40s and beyond.

Char Dagen has seen the disease progress, having lost two family members to cystic fibrosis earlier in her life.

“There is not a cure. But it’s there, they are really, really close,” she said.

For more information on Logan’s Heroes or the auction, you can visit www.logansheroes.net.