Mary G. Weiss became a volunteer for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation USA in 1965 after learning that her three little boys had CF. Her duty was to call every civic club, social and service organization seeking financial support for CF research. Mary’s 4-year old son, Richard, listened closely to his mother as she made each call.
After several calls, Richard came into the room and told his Mom, “I know what you are working for.” Mary was dumbstruck because Richard did not know what she was doing, nor did he know that he had Cystic Fibrosis. With some trepidation, Mary posed the question, “What am I working for, Richard?”
“You are working for 65 Roses,” he answered so sweetly. Mary was speechless. He could not see the tears running down Mary’s cheeks as she stammered, “Yes Richard, I’m working for 65 Roses.”
For 39 years, sixty-five roses has been used by children of all ages to describe their disease. But making it easier to say, does not make CF any easier to live with. The 65 Roses story has captured the hearts and emotions of all who have heard it. The rose, appropriately the ancient symbol of love, has become a symbol of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and Associations worldwide.