The Ocean Becomes a Pipeline to a Cure for Cystic Fibrosis
Surfing Becomes First Sport To Mitigate the Impact of a Disease
Surfing Legends Laird Hamilton and Dave Kalama Co-Host Inaugural Gala to Raise Research Funds
July 9, 2008
HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif. – Amazingly, surfers have unknowingly held a key to prolonging the lifespan and quality of life for people with cystic fibrosis (CF), a fatal genetic disease that causes the body to produce thick, sticky mucus, which clogs the lungs and leads to life-threatening lung infections.
Several years ago, doctors in Australia noticed young surfers with cystic fibrosis had significantly healthier lungs. The doctors determined that inhaling saltwater mist has a powerful effect on rehydrating the lining of the lungs and allowing CF patients to more easily eliminate bacteria-contaminated mucus. This discovery led researchers to develop a hypertonic saline solution, which CF patients around the world now inhale every day. In essence, CF patients now mimic a "surf session" on a daily basis.
More than 70,000 CF patients face a daily battle, enduring hours of daily therapies and treatments to avoid the threat of mucus build-up in the lungs. While average life expectancy has doubled in the past 25 years to age 37 -- due to advances in treatment and care -- funding is still urgently needed to find the miracle drug leading to a cure.
The recent “saltwater” breakthrough treatment has led the Southern California Chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation to form a “PIPELINE TO A CURE” campaign to raise funds and to bring about global awareness of the unique bond between the sport of surfing and those with cystic fibrosis.
On July 19, 2008, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation together with honorary co-chairs and surf legends Laird Hamilton and Dave Kalama will host an inaugural gala at the Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach, California, also known as “Surf City.”
Title sponsor PacSun and supporting sponsors the Kelly Slater Foundation, BJ’s Restaurants, the Tony Hawk Foundation, Wahoo's Fish Taco, and Coast Benefit Consultants hope to generate a major groundswell to increase awareness and support for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. LACarGuy Mike Sullivan has donated a Toyota Prius for the opportunity drawing. Many silent and live auction items are “priceless” as the entire surf industry has gotten on board and donated many “epic” items.
Emcee Rick Dickert of Fox 11 Morning News and Good Day LA, auctioneer Shawn Parr of Go Country 105 FM will be joined by special musical guest acoustic SOCIAL DISTORTION at the event.
“This wonderful and direct connection between surfing and cystic fibrosis is unparalleled,” commented PIPELINE TO A CURE Co-Chair Jerry Hennessy. “Participating in the sport of surfing is actually good for CF patients, and we believe we can use the power and ‘soul’ of surfing to raise tremendous awareness and dollars for CF research.”
At the PIPELINE TO A CURE event, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation will be honoring Wing Lam, Ed Lee and Mingo Lee, the owners of Wahoo’s Fish Taco, for their many years of support for the CF Foundation and other worthwhile causes.
Surf over to www.pipelinetoacure.com for more information and to view a YouTube® video of one very special surfer, named Emily.
About the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation
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 80 chapter and branch offices throughout the country, and accredits a nationwide network of 115 CF care centers, which provide vital treatments and other CF resources to patients and families. To advance the search for a cure, CFF has invested nearly $300 million in promising scientific research in the biotechnology industry since 1998. As a result, the Foundation has more than 30 potential therapies in its drug discovery and development pipeline. Virtually every approved CF drug available today was made possible because of Cystic Fibrosis Foundation support. For more information visit - www.cff.org.
- Colleen O'Higgins, Executive Director - Southern California Chapter, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, (714) 938-1393, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Laurie Fink, Director of Media Relations, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, (301) 841-2602, email@example.com