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Pulmonary Fibrosis Patients/9/11 Responders Represented at State of the Union Address for Second Year in a Row

Deadly Lung Disease Claims as Many Lives Each Year as Breast Cancer, Yet Largely Unknown

SAN JOSE, Calif., Jan. 28 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- For the second year in a row, pulmonary fibrosis patients will be represented at the President's State of the Union address. Just a year ago, Caesar Borja, Jr. attended President Bush's State of the Union speech, just hours after his father lost his fight to live as he awaited a lung transplant for pulmonary fibrosis. Tonight, another pulmonary fibrosis patient's family member will attend the State of the Union address.

Joseph Zadroga will attend tonight's address in memory of his son, James Zadroga who died in 2006 to pulmonary fibrosis. Both Zadroga and the senior Borja were members of the New York Police Department during 9/11 and are believed to have been exposed to toxins that could have caused their pulmonary fibrosis, an incurable and deadly lung disease. According to reports, two pathologists agreed that Zadroga's death to pulmonary fibrosis was linked to ground zero contaminants.

"It is a tragedy that every day, hundreds of people lose their lives to this horrific disease," said Mishka Michon, Chief Executive Officer of the Coalition for Pulmonary Fibrosis. "It is our hope that these brave family members can help increase awareness of this deadly disease that receives little funding and little attention from the federal government. We are working hard to find treatments to take this disease from terminal to treatable."

Cases of pulmonary fibrosis are on the rise with more than 150 percent increase in incidence and prevalence of the disease since 2001. There is no FDA approved treatment and no cure for the disease that claims 40,000 lives each year, the same as breast cancer. More than 128,000 people suffer from pulmonary fibrosis and most will die within three years of diagnosis.

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About Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF)

IPF is a lung disorder characterized by a progressive scarring -- known as fibrosis -- and deterioration of the lungs, which slowly robs its victims of their ability to breathe. Approximately 128,000 Americans suffer from IPF, which is the most prevalent of a classification of lung disorders known as interstitial lung diseases (ILD's). There is currently no known cause or cure for IPF, nor is there an FDA-approved treatment. An estimated 48,000 new cases are diagnosed each year. IPF is difficult to diagnose, and an estimated two-thirds of patients die within five years of diagnosis.

About the Coalition for Pulmonary Fibrosis

The Coalition for Pulmonary Fibrosis (CPF) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, founded in 2001 to accelerate research efforts leading to a cure for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), while educating, supporting, and advocating for the community of patients, families, and medical professionals fighting this disease. The CPF funds promising research into new approaches to treat and cure pulmonary fibrosis; provides patients and families with comprehensive education materials, resources, and hope; serves as a voice for national advocacy of IPF issues; and works to improve awareness of IPF in the medical community as well as the general public. The CPF's nonprofit partners include many of the most respected medical centers and healthcare organizations in the U.S. With more than 15,000 members nationwide, the CPF is the largest nonprofit organization in the U.S. dedicated to advocating for those with pulmonary fibrosis. For more information please visit or call (888) 222-8541.

SOURCE Coalition for Pulmonary Fibrosis
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