ELLICOTTVILLE, N.Y. (WIVB) — 300 miles in three days; that’s the goal of a Southern Tier man running for a cure. It’s a “run for his life,” and the lives of others like him, who have Cystic Fibrosis.
Bradley Poole has Cystic Fibrosis but he’s never let the lung disorder slow him down. “The doctors told my parents I’d be lucky to see 18 years old,” he said.
But the Salamanca native is defying the odds. He’s now 33 years old. He’s a husband, father and personal trainer. But it takes a lot of work and treatment behind the scenes to make it look this easy.
He explained what having Cystic Fibrosis can feel like. “If you take a straw and you plug your nose, it’s like breathing through that straw,” said Poole. “It’s hard to get the deep breath in and that’s why I’m doing everything that I can to get to a cure.”
Last summer, Poole raised more than $65,000 by running 266 miles throughout Cattaraugus County. This time around he’s upping the ante. “300 miles in 72 hours because I like challenging myself to see how far I can push my body and mind.”
To get to 300 miles, he’s running this 4 mile loop in Ellicottville 75 times.
Anyone is encouraged to join in. Even if you can’t run along, you can donate by heading here.
Poole says any donation makes an impact. “We get no government funding for CF. So the only way to raise money to get the drugs that we need to prolong our lives and eventually a find a cure, is through doing fundraising events and letting people donate,” he said.
He says running and exercising in general has greatly improved his lung function.
“I fell in love with it and I just stuck with it,” said Poole. So he now shares that passion with others at his own gym, Warrior Fitness and Wellness in Ellicottville.
“‘It’s really hard to sit there and think you’re getting tired and don’t want to do this, when I know he struggles to breathe everyday,” said a Warrior Fitness member. “He inspires us all to work harder.”
And Poole hopes sharing his story will continue to inspire others with CF to keep fighting. “Everybody is going to go through challenging times, just keep pushing through and just be a warrior,” he said.
He steps off on his journey tomorrow at 5 a.m. If you’re interested in donating or learning more just head here.
To learn more about the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation of WNY, head here.
Gabrielle Mediak is a reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2019. See more of her work here.