Published August 01, 2023 by Tom Porter

Bowdoin Parent Pledges to Get 65 Rose Tattoos to Raise Money for Cystic Fibrosis Foundation

New Hampshire attorney Donald Kreis P’24 has pledged to get sixty-five roses tattooed on his body to raise money for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. The choice of tattoos and the number of them are no coincidence.

kreis and keller'24
Donald Kreis '24 and Rose Keller '24. Photo courtesy of Donald Kreis.

His daughter Rose Keller ’24 suffers with the degenerative lung disease, and with his sixty-fifth birthday looming, Kreis wanted to make a meaningful contribution to a cause that’s very personal to him and his family. He had originally planned to raise $65,000 but Keller thought this insufficient and persuaded him to raise the bar to $650,000. 

“I’m hoping that it goes viral. It’s a wonderful cause,” Kreis told the New Hampshire Center for Public Interest Journalism. “The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is the best health care charity out there,” he added. “I mean...let me put it this way: if I had been born with cystic fibrosis, which I was not, I would have been lucky to live to age five. When Rose was born, the median life expectancy for a person with CF was thirty-one. And now, twenty years later, it’s up to fifty-six,” said Kreis, who currently has no tattoos on his body.

As he went on to explain, the phrase “sixty-five roses” has a special meaning in the cystic fibrosis (CF) community, thanks to a four-year-old boy with CF who once misunderstood the nature of his mother’s fundraising efforts. “’I know what you were doing, Mommy; you’re raising money for sixty-five roses,’ because he couldn’t hear ‘cystic fibrosis,’ and ever since then, it’s been, I guess you would call it, a meme of the CF foundation,” said Kreis. “They’ve trademarked it. So they have like sixty-five rose calendars, and sixty-five rose events and all of that.”

Cystic fibrosis is a genetic disease that damages the lungs and other organs, causing the buildup of a sticky mucus that can block airways and cause respiratory failure. To help Kreis meet his goal, please access this link,