On March 17, more than 160 advocates representing 46 states — including more people living with CF than ever before — met with their members of Congress virtually to advocate for the cystic fibrosis community during the Foundation’s 15th annual March on the Hill.
Advocates asked their lawmakers to co-sponsor the PASTEUR Act, a bipartisan proposal that, if passed, will support the development of new antibiotics and promote appropriate use of existing ones. Along with their unique stories that showcase the human impact associated with the lack of novel antibiotics, volunteers also shared information about the CF Foundation’s Infection Research Initiative, which recently hit its $100 million funding commitment nearly two years ahead of schedule.
“Living with cystic fibrosis is a microcosm of the widespread risks of persistent antibiotic use and the potential effects of antibiotic-resistant organisms,” said Mary Dwight, senior vice president and chief policy and advocacy officer at the CF Foundation. “Being one of the only patient organizations that can speak directly to the growing concern of antibiotic-resistant infections is an honor. The crisis is happening now, and every story our community shares reiterates the urgency to pass the PASTEUR Act and begins to solve this problem.
Additionally, nearly 1,400 community members from every state participated in the Foundation’s Online Day of Action. Advocates from around the country sent more than 4,500 messages to their lawmakers, amplifying the community’s collective voice on the Hill.
Senator Todd Young of Indiana, a leading sponsor of the PASTEUR Act, shared a special message about the power of constituent stories when connecting with Congressional members.
The event also marked the final March on the Hill for the Foundation’s National Advocacy Committee co-chairs, Jaci and Drew Strube and Chad Riedy, who began their term in 2018. Members of the community and CF Foundation staff extended their thanks during the event. New advocacy co-chairs will be announced later this month.
March on the Hill typically convenes advocates to meet with members of Congress in Washington, D.C. This year’s event presented a unique opportunity for volunteers to carry their message to Capitol Hill through virtual meetings, ensuring the health and safety of our community while also allowing people with CF to participate alongside their loved ones, much like 2020 and 2021’s Teen Advocacy Days. Members of the Adult Advisory Council also provided messages to the advocates, reminding them just how important advocacy is in our shared mission to cure cystic fibrosis.
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