The life expectancy for children diagnosed with cystic fibrosis was once just five years old. But since the 1950s, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation has worked to change that. And treatment has made leaps and bounds in the process. Sarah Blazonis joins us from the newsroom with more on how the Central New York Chapter is continuing that work.
SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- This is going to be the first black-tie optional event for the CNY Chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. They've normally held more casual, after-work type gatherings, but officials say it was time for a change.
Almost all of the drugs available to treat this disease were developed thanks to support from the foundation. Since it's completely donor-funded, officials say events like this are critical.
Cystic fibrosis is a disease that affects the lungs and digestive system. People who have it can have problems like persistent coughing and frequent lung infections.
The foundation says 30,000 adults and children in the U.S. have it, and 1,000 new cases are diagnosed each year.
Officials say treatment's come a long way since the foundation was founded in 1955, but there's still a long way to go.
"If you had a child that was diagnosed with CF, they pretty much told you to go home and enjoy them -- they probably would not go to kindergarten. Median age was around five. Today, due to the therapies and the drugs that the foundation has created, supported, the research, the median age is now 37.5, so huge progress," said Karen Ferguson, executive director of the CNY chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
The 65 Roses Dinner Dance is scheduled for Saturday, March 23 at Traditions at the Links in East Syracuse. Tickets are $100 per person. For that you'll get a cocktail hour, gourmet dinner, auction items, and live entertainment. Proceeds will go to research into a cure for cystic fibrosis.
You can get tickets by either calling the local chapter at (315) 463-7965 or by visiting www.cff.org/Chapters/centralny/.