West Chester University fourth-year student Julie Sgrignioli, raised over $500 this past year to help support finding a cure for Cystic Fibrosis. Sgrignioli raised the money as part of a team called the “Moyer Girls,” which is associated with Great Strides, taking steps to find a cure for Cystic Fibrosis.According to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Cystic Fibrosis is “an inherited chronic disease that affects the lungs and digestive system of about 30,000 children and adults in the United States.” This is a disease that many people do not really hear about because only one in 3,000 people are born with it, and it used to be considered a child’s disease because most people with Cystic Fibrosis did not live past the age of five years old.
There are many ways a person can help contribute to finding a cure for Cystic Fibrosis. Every year at WCU, there is a fundraising walk held to help find a cure, Great Strides. Last year, $34 million was raised to help find a cure.
“Living with CF gets harder as you get older,” Jen Moyer, a Cystic Fibrosis patient said. “Your lungs get weaker, and sometimes it’s hard to get them healthy again. I was told two years ago that I would need a lung transplant, which was the scariest moment of my life. However I did what the doctors told me to do and went on Intravenous medicine for a month, did my airway clearance techniques and at the end of the month, my lungs were back to being in a healthy range for me.”
The average life expectancy today for people living with Cystic Fibrosis is 37 years old according to the MayoClinic.
Cystic Fibrosis symptoms include severe lung infections, causing a persistent coughing, wheezing or shortness of breath, poor growth in height and weight. If proper enzymes are not taken, very serious digestive problems, causing sharp pain in the stomach area and problems with bowel movements.
Currently there is no cure for Cystic Fibrosis, just treatments to help keep the lungs healthy and enzymes to help digest and absorb food, according to the University of Virginia Health System. However, the treatments do not always work, and most people who lose their life to Cystic Fibrosis die from lung failure, according to HealthLink medical college of Wisconsin.
A way one can help is by making a general contribution. Visit CFF.Org and go to “Get involved.” One can then donate any amount of money right to the organization.
If a person wants to be more creative, s/he can send an e-card from the CFF.org Web site. This gift is also tax-deductible.
A neat way to help would be to donate an old car or truck. For more information on this, visit the CFF.org Web site.
Another way includes joining The Milestones to a Cure Campaign. This campaign was made to raise $175 million dollars by the year 2010. The money will go to the Foundation’s Therapeutics Development Program, helping find new treatments and maybe one day a cure.
For more information on Cystic Fibrosis and how to help, visit the Cystic Fibrosis Web site, CFF.org.
Katie Moyer is a fourth-year student majoring in professional studies with a minor in journalism. She can be reached at KM604798@wcupa.edu.