Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Launches $175 Million Fund-raising Campaign

Bethesda, Md., Oct. 19 —The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation today announced the launch of a $175 million major gifts fund-raising campaign—Milestones to a Cure—to support research into better treatments and an ultimate cure for cystic fibrosis (CF)—a life-threatening genetic disease. This is the largest major gifts campaign in the organization’s 50-year history.

“We have made tremendous progress over the last 50 years,” said Robert J. Beall, Ph.D., president and CEO of the CF Foundation. “And yet there is still so much more work to be done.  We need the infusion of dollars from this campaign, along with the remarkable support from our traditional resources, to help us reach our goal of a cure.”

The CF Foundation was established in 1955, when most children who had CF died before they could enter elementary school. Since then, the CF Foundation has led efforts that have resulted in major medical breakthroughs, including the 1989 discovery of the defective gene that causes the disease. Currently, the CF Foundation has 80 fund-raising offices across the United States and funds and accredits a network of more than 115 specialized care centers at major teaching and community hospitals nationwide. Thanks to the support of caregivers, researchers, families, volunteers, and donors, the median age of survival for CF patients has risen to 35.

“The goal of the campaign is to ensure that new therapies for cystic fibrosis are developed as quickly as possible,” said Campaign Chairman Joseph J. O’Donnell. “The clock is our worst enemy.” O’Donnell, who is CEO of Boston Culinary Group, lost his son Joey to the disease in 1986. 

Funds raised by the Milestones to a Cure campaign will support the discovery and development of new CF therapies. There are currently more than 20 potential CF treatments in various stages of development—any one of these, or a combination, could have a profound impact on the lives of those with the disease.

The CF Foundation will officially kick off the public phase of the Milestones to a Cure campaign on October 20 with a dinner and reception at the Marriott Waterfront Hotel in Baltimore.