Who We Are
About LifeLineRacing and Cystic Fibrosis
LifeLineRacing (LLR) was founded in 2014 a few years after Karen and Doug Hall learned of their nephew Emlen's cystic fibrosis (CF) diagnosis. Doug writes, "My sister and I live on opposite coasts. I felt pretty helpless and wanted to contribute. Karen and I decided to launch LLR to combine our passion for exercise with our goal of raising awareness to benefit Emlen and other children with CF." Karen and Doug started with the sale of 65 Roses bike kits, t-shirts and gear. They are now growing LLR from awareness efforts to programs that directly benefit young people with CF and inspire a lifelong dedication to exercise as therapy that’s fun and rewarding.
CF is a genetic disorder that impacts multiple organ systems. In the lungs, it causes mucus to be unusually sticky, resulting in frequent and hard-to-treat lung infections that, over time, irreversibly damage lung tissues. In the gut, it stops pancreatic enzymes from reaching the intestines, which, in turn, limits the ability to extract nutrients from food. This impacts growth and health. CF patients lose more salt through sweating than a healthy person. The disease can also cause liver damage and diabetes.
Treatments for CF have improved remarkably in the last decades, greatly improving mean life expectancy. But even with treatment, the disease can lead to the need for a double lung transplant. It is critically important that those with CF adhere to their many therapies, which include a steady stream of inhaled medicines, pills and pancreatic enzyme supplements. Mucus in the lungs is loosened by daily thumping on the chest and back or with a compressor-driven vest.
Studies and patient experience support a strong connection between regular exercise and improved health in those with CF. As with any of us, exercise also offers a supportive social setting and helps to manage stress.
Inspiration. Emlen loves fishing, video games, taking apart electronics and driving his older brother crazy. He also plays the drums remarkably loudly. To the casual observer he is a healthy, well-adjusted and happy kid, despite having been diagnosed with CF at age two and a half. His parents attribute his heath to meticulously adhering to his treatments and the regular exercise he gets from training and competing at swimming. Emlen swims for the Thoreau Sharks Swim Team and the Bay State Team and holds the team record for the 25-yard butterfly. He is starting to explore running and mountain biking. In spring, he will play more golf. He already has the best swing in the family.
Co-Founder, CFO, Karen is a Business Operations Manager at Tibco Software, Inc in Palo Alto, CA. She lives in San Jose, CA with her husband Doug and two handsome dogs. She enjoys an active lifestyle and supporting programs that benefit youth. Drawing from her experience in her corporate operations career in the tech industry, Karen contributes to LLR's administration, operations and fundraising needs. Karen received her Bachelor of Science degree in Nutrition and Food Science (Concentration in Dietetics) from San Jose State University which is where she first became aware of CF.
Co-Founder, President, Doug is a Senior Director of Sales Operations at Cognizant. After many years of racing bicycles and sporting outfits with advertisements for corporations, he decided to trade in sponsorships, start LLR with Karen, and wear gear with a message to raise awareness of CF. Using his experience in sales, Doug heads up LLR fundraising efforts while building relationships with local CF charities. He also leads the LLR Bike Team on various community rides and participates in fundraising events. Doug graduated from the University of California at Berkeley with a degree in English Literature.