The mission of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is to cure cystic fibrosis and to provide all people with the disease the opportunity to lead full, productive lives by funding research and drug development, promoting individualized treatment and ensuring access to high-quality, specialized care.
Founded in 1955, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is the world’s leader in the search for a cure for cystic fibrosis. The Foundation was started by parents desperate to save their children’s lives. Their relentless and impassioned determination to prolong life has resulted in tremendous strides over the past 60 years in accelerating innovative research and drug development, as well as advancing care and advocacy. Virtually every approved cystic fibrosis drug therapy available now was made possible because of the Foundation and its supporters. Still, we believe no one should have to die at a young age. We will not rest until we have a cure for all people living with CF.
What is Cystic Fibrosis?
Cystic fibrosis is a rare, genetic, life-shortening disease that affects every organ in the body and makes breathing difficult. Some people with the disease say it’s like breathing through a narrow straw. 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 life-threatening lung infections. Sixty years ago, most children did not live long enough to attend elementary school, but thanks to Foundation-based research and care, the median survival age of people with CF is now about 40.
Why Support the Foundation:
Many people with CF are living long enough to realize their dreams of attending college, pursuing careers, getting married, and having children. This is due in large part to the work of the Foundation and the amazing CF community. We helped discover the gene that causes CF, created a state-of-the-art model for CF care, and have funded groundbreaking research. But we’re not done. We are working every day to build on this incredible momentum, and we won’t stop until there is a cure for all people living with CF.
Drugs that treat the genetic cause of CF are rapidly becoming available to more individuals as a result of the Foundation’s efforts. There are now two FDA-approved therapies that treat the basic defect in cystic fibrosis for more than half of the population. Perhaps most exciting, more and more people will be helped by these treatments in coming years. In fact, by 2026, we expect that close to 95 percent of people with CF will benefit from similar drugs.
One Time Cure:
We don’t just want to treat CF. We want to end CF – for everyone, including those with rare or nonsense mutations. To bring that vision to life, we are focused on a very high-tech and experimental process called gene editing. Gene editing will remove the genetic mutation that causes CF and replace it with a normal sequence of DNA. Research into using gene editing to cure CF is already underway. Although there are many hurdles, with time and continued effort, we believe we will see a permanent, one-time cure in our lifetimes.
In addition to adding tomorrows by pursuing innovative treatments, we’re also committed to helping people with CF live the best lives that they can today. Along with new therapies and a one-time cure, we’re still steadfast in our efforts to develop treatments that address the symptoms of CF. We are continuing to invest in CF care by increasing our support for the 120 centers in our innovative care network, with a focus on adult care and mental health. And we’re actively focused on lung transplant initiatives for the many adults with CF who need them. We are enabling efforts by and for people with CF. And we’re working diligently in the policy arena to ensure that people with CF have access to the care they need. In addition, CF Foundation Compass, exists to help people with CF and their families with insurance, financial, legal and other complex issues they are facing.
For more information about cystic fibrosis and the work of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, please visit www.cff.org.