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Carrying on a legacy; family raises money for Cystic Fibrosis

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FARGO—One family is giving back to the community after losing a daughter to cystic fibrosis 8-years-ago.

Over 100 people walked around Brunsdale Park to celebrate the life of Sonia Balliete-Heidenreich.

"It seems like only yesterday that our dear Sonia left us, but boy we just keep walking away, don't we?" said Leslie Balliet, Sonia's Father.

After their daughter passed away nearly 8-months ago from Cystic Fibrosis, Sonia's family is now dedicated to helping others by raising money for the Cystic Fibrosis Association of North Dakota with an annual 5K.

"We had been involved in the association for a few years already, this was something to just continue on and just a good feeling for us and our family," said Leslie.

32-year-old Sonia had spent her life working with the association to better the lives of those with the disease; her family hopes to carry on that legacy.

"If I inspire just one, it was worth my suffering - if I move just one, it's worth my living - if I touch just one it was worth it. It was all worth it," said Leslie.

Those words, written by Sonia in her last year, are the driving force to those who knew her and inspiration to those who didn't.

"I've never had the pleasure of meeting Sonia, but I feel like I know her from just interacting with her friends and family, and the love they had for her, it just shows how just a few people getting together can make a big difference," said Pam Thompson, ND Cystic Fibrosis Association.

Bringing a community together for the cause is something Sonia would have been proud of.

"I think if she was here with us right now and saw this she would be amazed right now. She would be just tickled," said Leslie.

Over the past 7-years the Balliet's have raised over $50,000 for the Cystic Fibrosis Association of North Dakota with the annual 5K.