(Bethesda, Md.) -- Today at the White House, President Barack Obama shared the story of Bill Elder Jr., a third-year medical student with cystic fibrosis, describing how Elder's life has changed since he began taking a breakthrough CF drug in 2012.
The event focused on the president's new precision medicine initiative, an emerging approach to treating illnesses that takes into account an individual's
Elder, who attended the White House event, was diagnosed with CF at the age of 8 when life expectancy for people with CF was only in the mid-20s. Now 27, he is taking the CF treatment ivacaftor, which targets the basic genetic defect in cystic fibrosis, and was developed with significant support from the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
“One day Bill will be able to tell his grandchildren about how he used the miracle of his own life to not only serve as an example but also an inspiration,” said the president. “And that's the spirit of hope and resilience and community that has always carried America forward.”
“We are honored that President Obama discussed how our efforts to treat cystic fibrosis reveal the promise of precision medicine,” said Preston W. Campbell III, M.D., executive vice president for medical affairs of the CF Foundation. “We're also excited that he is launching a national initiative to support this innovative approach, because, while it is true that we have made amazing progress in treating this disease, the lives of people with CF are still cut far too short,” added Campbell, who was a guest at the event, along with other CF Foundation leaders.
The CF Foundation has played an essential role in the development of nearly every CF treatment available today. Through its venture philanthropy model, the Foundation supports promising CF research and maintains a robust pipeline of therapies that target the disease from every angle. This approach has led to tremendous advances in life expectancy, which has doubled in the last 30 years.
- Read more about the president's Precision Medicine Initiative, which he first introduced at the 2015 State of the Union address.
- Watch President Obama speak on the Precision Medicine Initiative.
About the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation
The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is the world's leader in the search for a cure for cystic fibrosis. The Foundation funds more cystic fibrosis research than any other organization, and nearly every CF drug available today was made possible because of Foundation support. Based in Bethesda, Md., the Foundation also supports and accredits a national care center network that has been recognized by the National Institutes of Health as a model of care for a
Laurie Fink, National Director of Media Relations, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation: 301-841-2602; firstname.lastname@example.org