Fish-A-Thon on July 19th at Lake Wanahoo
Ways To Donate:
All proceeds go to the Children's Interstitial Lung Disease Foundation
Fishing is more than just a hobby for Michael Jarecki, it's his passion.
"It's fun reeling in the fish because it is kind of like a tug-a-war," said Michael, as he reels in a fish.
With most passions, there is a moment a person becomes hooked. That moment didn't happen out on the water for Michael, but in a hospital bed.
"I had pneumonia. We are pretty sure that is what got me sick," said Michael.
After months of fighting a sickness that took his energy and made it hard to breathe, doctors finally came out with his diagnosis.
"I had bronchiolitis obliterans, I didn't really know what that was," said Michael.
The truth, not many people would. It's a very rare and it permanently damaged 80 percent of his lung function.
Michael said it feels like, "Breathing through a straw all day to like a normal person."
Because he can't breathe to a full lung capacity, he can't participate in sports and things that require him to run.
The disease could also take his life if he gets sick again. It's this fact, that is heartbreaking for his family.
"It's a scary thought thinking about what is your child life going to be like in the future. It's not going to be the normal life that other kids have," said Mindy Jarecki.
But Michael thinks of life like any 11 year old; limitless, infinite.
"Everything that I do, like IVs, I've done before and I know that nothing is going to go wrong or anything," said Michael.
What really keeps him going is fishing. It's his reviving breath back to being a kid.
It also helped him come up with this idea: "A fish-a-thon to help raise money for the Child Foundation," said Michael.
The Children's Interstitial Lung Disease Foundation (chILd) helps support children with rare, life-threatening pediatric interstitial lung diseases.
So as he casts his line for hundredth, thousandth, millionth time, it's easy to see, fishing is more than just a hobby. It's a passion worth reeling in.