(Bethesda, Md.) -- During his 2015 State of the Union Address, President Barack Obama held up cystic fibrosis as a model for a new White House initiative on “precision medicine,” a term that refers to treatments targeted toward a precise defect in the primary cause of a disease.
Bill Elder, Jr., a medical student with CF and a long time advocate, was invited to join first lady Michelle Obama during the ceremony.
The mention of cystic fibrosis in the State of the Union was an important recognition of the progress that has been made in changing the course of this fatal disease. It also underscores the work that has yet to be done in finding a lifetime cure for all people with CF.
“I want the country that eliminated polio and mapped the human genome to lead a new era of medicine: one that delivers the right treatment at the right time,” said the President. “In some patients with cystic fibrosis, this approach has reversed a disease once thought unstoppable.”
Elder was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis at the age of eight, at a time when most CF patients were only expected to live to early adulthood. He has been taking a new breakthrough drug called ivacaftor, which was developed by Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc., with significant financial and clinical support from the Foundation.
In a statement on its website, the White House said, "Thanks to a unique collaboration between the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, patients, researchers, and a pharmaceutical company, Bill, now 27, expects to live a long, full life.”
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