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Good Samaritan To Host Great Strides Cystic Fibrosis Walk

The 6th annual Great Strides for Cystic Fibrosis (CF) walk is taking place on Sunday, September 24, 2017 rain or shine at Vincennes University’s track in hopes of raising money for research and awareness for Cystic Fibrosis. Registration begins at 12:30 p.m. (EST) and the opening ceremony starts at 1:30 p.m. Currently there are 16 teams registered and this year’s goal is to raise $76,000.

Cystic fibrosis is a life-threatening, genetic disease that causes persistent lung infections and progressively limits the ability to breathe. In people with CF, a defective gene causes a thick buildup of mucus in the lungs, pancreas and other organs.

In the lungs, the mucus clogs the airways and traps bacteria leading to infections, extensive lung damage and eventually respiratory failure. In the pancreas, the mucus prevents the release of digestive enzymes that allow the body to break down food and absorb vital nutrients.

Donations have helped researchers find a major breakthrough in Cystic Fibrosis by introducing a new drug, Orkambi. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the first drug for CF, directed at treating the cause of the disease in people who have two copies of a specific mutation.

Orkambi was approved in 2015 to treat CF in patients 12 years and older, who have the F508del mutation, which causes the production of an abnormal protein that disrupts how water and chloride are transported in the body. Having two copies of this mutation (one inherited from each parent) is the leading cause of CF. In 2016, a different form of Orkambi was approved for children ages 6 to 11. This allowed an additional 2,400 children in the U.S. to receive the drug, bringing the total number of those eligible for the treatment in the U.S to nearly 11,000.

Research and clinical trials have continued in 2017 demonstrating positive results for those with CF. The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation maintains a strong group of potential therapies that target the disease from every angle. The more support given to the Foundation increases the odds of producing successful therapies and a cure for all people with CF.

“Since 1955, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation has been the driving force behind the pursuit of a cure. Nearly every CF drug available today was made possible because of Foundation support,” stated Tammy Howell, Good Samaritan Respiratory Therapist and Event Chair. “The money donated to the Foundation has increased the life expectancy of children who are diagnosed with CF and allowed more advanced medications to be readily available.”

Sandwiches, provided by Jimmy John’s, chips, cookies and drinks will be provided for walkers, and a silent auction, with approximately 80 to 100 items from local businesses and organizations, will be held.

Please call Tammy Howell at 812-885-3215 or 812-899-2146 for more details and information about how you can be involved. To make a donation, join a team, create a team or sign up as an individual walker, go online to www.fightcf.cff.org.