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Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Launches GREAT STRIDES Walks Nationwide at 600 Locations

Tens of Thousands of Volunteers Seek to Raise $40 Million for Life-threatening Disease

BETHESDA, Md., May 7 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation announced today the launch of GREAT STRIDES, a national walk that generates critical funds for life-saving cystic fibrosis (CF) research. The 2009 goal of GREAT STRIDES, the largest CF fundraiser, is to raise $40 million.

Tens of thousands of walkers are expected to turn out at 600 sites nationwide from now until June. The greatest number of walks takes place the weekend of May 16-17. May is National Cystic Fibrosis Awareness Month.

"GREAT STRIDES is the most important fundraiser we have all year, and we are grateful to every walker who joins us," said Robert J. Beall, Ph.D., president and CEO of the CF Foundation. "Every dollar raised brings us closer to finding a cure for this devastating disease."

Cystic fibrosis is a life-threatening genetic disease that affects 30,000 adults and children in the United States and 70,000 people worldwide. It causes chronic and debilitating lung infections that can lead to premature death. More than 10 million Americans are symptomless carriers of the CF gene. About one person in this country dies from CF every day.

With the support of the CF Foundation, there have been dramatic advances in cystic fibrosis research and care. In the 1950s, children born with cystic fibrosis usually did not live long enough to attend elementary school. Today, the predicted median survival age has risen to more than 37 years.

The CF Foundation has earned a four-star rating for sound fiscal management from Charity Navigator and is an accredited charity of the Better Business Bureau's Wise Giving Alliance. GREAT STRIDES 2009 is sponsored nationally by American Airlines(R) and Solvay Pharmaceuticals Inc.

To help fight CF and get involved in GREAT STRIDES, please call (800) FIGHT CF or visit

About the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation

The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is the leading organization devoted to curing and controlling cystic fibrosis. Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., the Foundation funds CF research, has more than 70 chapter and branch offices, and supports and accredits a nationwide network of 110 CF care centers, which provide vital treatments and other CF resources to patients and families. For more information, visit

SOURCE Cystic Fibrosis Foundation
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