Benefit for Kiehl On Jan. 27

Staff Writer

For most of us, we take breathing pretty naturally. Inhale. Exhale. We’ve been doing it all our natural lives. It’s only when we’re under water or at high elevation do we notice how difficult it can be and what a gift it is.

That’s what Cody Kiehl, son of Douglas Kiehl and Kim Oen, is asking for. The gift of breath. He has a diagnosis of Cystic Fibrosis (CF), a progressive, genetic disease that causes persistent lung infections and limits ability to breathe over time. In people with CF, a defective gene causes a thick, sticky buildup of mucus in the lungs, pancreas and other organs. In the lungs, mucus clogs airways and traps bacteria, leading to infections, extensive lung damage and, eventually, respiratory failure. In the pancreas, mucus prevents release of digestive enzymes which allow the body to break down food and absorb vital nutrients.

Cody was diagnosed at eighteen months old, according to Kim, now at twenty, his lungs are tired. His young life has been filled with frequent hospitalizations; his focus has been on staying healthy and, simply, just breathing.

Cody’s condition has now reached the point of needing a lung transplant. Finding a match is the challenge – blood type and more. Cody has now been determined to be eligible. Basically, you have to be so sick that you are running out of options. Cody is now on the list for a transplant at Nationwide Children’s Columbus, and prepares for the process, which can happen at any time if the right donor match becomes available. The hope for one comes from organ donation. Someone has to die before Cody gets new lungs. Someone is going to give this gift  of life because they chose to be an organ donor, making a lasting difference in the life of another. Cody’s hope. Cody’s life.

A benefit has been organized on Cody’s behalf by his mom who also runs Just Breathe Studio, 4249 St. Rt. 66, Minster. On Saturday, January 27, she is hosting a  Yogathon benefit at the studio. Registered Yoga teachers from New Bremen, St. Henry, Wapak, Greenville, Arcanum and Piqua will come together to offer their love and support for Kim and Cody. Yoga, meditation, Qi Gong and breathing practices will be at offered at various times, as well as private Thai yoga massage and Reiki sessions.

There will be an attendance prize, raffle prizes and a grand prize raffle. T-shirts are available, designed by Kim, with a beautiful graphic of the lungs.