BETHESDA, Md.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--This weekend tens of thousands of walkers will lace up and hit the pavement to raise funds in the battle against cystic fibrosis, a life-threatening, genetic disease that causes debilitating lung infections, progressive lung destruction and premature death. Great Strides is the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation's largest national fundraiser and includes over 500 walks throughout the year, with many occurring this Saturday and Sunday.
CF affects 30,000 adults and children in the United States, and 70,000 people worldwide. The disease is caused by a defective gene that makes the body produce a thick, sticky mucus that clogs the lungs and leads to severe infections. More than 10 million people in the United States are symptomless carriers of a defective CF gene.
Just 60 years ago children with CF did not live long enough to attend elementary school. Today the median survival age of people with CF is about 40 because of Foundation-supported research and care. Yet, there is still no cure and lives are cut far too short.
"The CF community has gained tremendous momentum in our fight against this disease,” said Preston W. Campbell, III, M.D., president and CEO of the CF Foundation. “Thanks to the support of all those who participate in Great Strides, we now have promising new opportunities to truly make a difference in the lives of people with CF. The road ahead of us is a long one, but with the incredible generosity and passion of our friends, volunteers and donors, I am confident that we will reach our shared goal of a cure for all people with CF.”
The national elite sponsor of Great Strides 2016 is AbbVie. They are joined by premier sponsors Novartis, Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Walgreens and other sponsors that include American Airlines, Genentech and Gilead Sciences Inc.
Great Strides' ultimate goal is to raise $43 million this year. These funds will help the CF Foundation accelerate the innovative research needed to develop lifesaving new therapies and one day find a lifelong cure for this disease. In addition, the funds help ensure that all people with CF and their families have the best possible access to excellent care and patient programs.
The CF Foundation is an accredited charity of the Better Business Bureau's Wise Giving Alliance and is one of the most efficient and effective organizations of its kind.
To help fight CF, participate in your local Great Strides walk by calling (800) FIGHT-CF or visit the Great Strides website.
About the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation
The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is the world's leader in the search for a cure for cystic fibrosis. The CF Foundation funds more cystic fibrosis research than any other organization, and nearly every CF drug available today was made possible because of CF Foundation support. Based in Bethesda, Md., the CF 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 chronic disease. The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is a donor-supported nonprofit organization.