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Cystic Fibrosis Patient Emily Schaller Begins 2,000-Mile Quest to Get on 'The Ellen DeGeneres Show'

Departing Chicago via Vespa Scooter, Schaller to Ride Through Seven Western States to Raise Awareness About CF

BETHESDA, Md., Sept. 22 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Emily Schaller, a 27-year-old drummer with cystic fibrosis (CF), begins a 2,000-mile journey today aboard a Vespa scooter -- riding from Chicago to Burbank, California, in her quest to get on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show."

Schaller, whose singular goal is to raise awareness about cystic fibrosis, has appeared in Forbes magazine, The New York Times online and was voted the 2009 Applebee's "National Real Hero." She will travel through 14 cities and seven states, including Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Colorado, Utah, Nevada, and California.

Cystic fibrosis is a fatal, genetic disease that clogs the lungs with thick mucus, causing life-threatening infections and premature death. Ten million Americans are unknowing carriers of a defective cystic fibrosis gene.

"Emily's spirit and determination are inspirational, and we are grateful for the energy and enthusiasm she brings to the fight to find a cure," said Robert J. Beall, Ph.D., president and CEO of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

To stay alive, Schaller swallows more than 40 pills a day and spends hours doing intense breathing treatments to clear the sticky mucus from her lungs.

"Ellen is my hero and her show is the perfect place to rally support in the fight against cystic fibrosis," says Schaller, a Detroit native. "I want to encourage people to donate funds for life-saving cystic fibrosis research. We have treatments in development now that could add decades of life for people with this terrible disease."

Emily's trip will be captured on video and highlights posted on her Web site. Her ride will benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, the leading organization devoted to curing CF.

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 chapters and branch offices throughout the country, and supports and accredits a nationwide network of 110 CF care centers, which provide vital treatments and other CF resources to patients and families.

SOURCE Cystic Fibrosis Foundation
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