FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 9, 2007
Contact: Laurie Fink, Director of Media Relations: 301-841-2602
Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Launches Great Strides Walks in 550 Locations Nationwide
Tens of Thousands of Walkers Seek to Raise $36 Million for Life-threatening Disease
(BETHESDA, Md.)—The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation announced today the kick-off of Great Strides, a national walk benefiting critical cystic fibrosis research, education and care programs. Great Strides, now in its 19th year, is the largest CF fund-raiser and seeks to raise $36 million nationwide in 2007.
Tens of thousands of walkers are expected to turn out at 550 walk sites nationwide from March to June. Some walks will coincide with National Cystic Fibrosis Awareness Month in May.
“Great Strides is crucial to our lifesaving efforts, and every walker who joins us makes a difference for people with cystic fibrosis,” said Robert J. Beall, Ph.D., president and CEO of the CF Foundation. “We are making tremendous progress in fighting this disease, and we are grateful for our volunteers and sponsors who are a vital part of this effort.”
Cystic fibrosis is a genetic disease that affects 30,000 adults and children in the United States. It causes life-threatening lung infections and serious digestive complications. More than 10 million Americans are symptomless carriers of the CF gene. Young people are lost every day to this disease.
With the support of the CF Foundation, there have been significant advances in cystic fibrosis research and care. The median survival age has improved from early childhood in the 1950s to almost 37 years today.
Nearly 90 cents of every dollar raised by the CF Foundation is available to fund CF research and care programs. Great Strides 2007 is sponsored nationally by American Airlines®, Gilead, Novartis and Solvay Pharmaceuticals.
To help fight CF, get involved in Great Strides by calling (800) FIGHT CF or visiting http://greatstrides.cff.org.
About the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation
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The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is the leading organization devoted to curing and controlling cystic fibrosis. Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., the Foundation funds CF research, has more than 80 chapters and branch offices throughout the country, and supports and accredits a nationwide network of more than 115 CF care centers, which provide vital treatments and other CF resources to patients and families. For more information, visit www.cff.org.