Saving more than Goals: Joe Bendik helping nephew fight Cystic-Fibrosis

The Portland Timbers are involved in numerous philanthropic initiatives, some through the team’s community outreach program Stand Together while others are personal passion projects of the players.

 Gavin, 9 and his older brother Sebastiian, 12

Finding a cure for Cystic-Fibrosis--a disease that clogs the lungs and hampers the ability of its victims to absorb nutrition--is a cause near and dear to Timbers goalkeeper Joe Bendik’s heart.

In order to help his young nephew Gavin, known affectionately to his family as Gav-A-Goo, Bendik has spent his free time and resources setting up a donation bank through the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s “Great Strides” program.

To date Bendik has raised $18,657 to help fund crucial research that has helped raise the life expectancy for those born with CF, including his nephew Gavin, from preschool ages to 38 years and older.

And Bendik isn’t done yet, targeting this weekend as another opportunity to raise money by holding a Great Strides walk at Oaks Amusement Park at 9am on Saturday, May 19.

For those who would like to aid Joe in his efforts to fund CF research more information is available at his Great Strides website. Watch the video there and learn more about Gavin, his older brother Sebastian, and the challenges their family faces with CF.

Anyone who would like to take part in Saturday’s walk at Oaks Amusement Park can sign up with TEAM GAVIN and contact Joe on Twitter @jtbendik to make the trek sporting this year's TEAM GAVIN t-shirts!

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