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Cystic Fibrosis walk makes strides

The fifth annual Great Strides 5K Walk benefitting the Mississippi Chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation will be Saturday on the bluff in the parking lot next to Cock of the Walk.

Registration begins at 9:30 a.m., and the walk will start at 10 a.m. Copiah-Lincoln Community College’s Respiratory Care Technology Program, Dianne’s Frame Shop, Dozer LLC, Kelly’s Kids and Taco Bell are sponsoring this year’s event, along with many others.

When I was six months old, I was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis. Living with this disease means extensive respiratory treatments, constant coughing and extended stays in the hospital. Every day is a struggle.

Thanks to the support of my family and friends, I feel lucky to say that despite these struggles, I’ve lived a good life. Unfortunately, many people with Cystic Fibrosis cannot say the same, and that is why I am asking for your help.

We want to ensure that the rapid pace of Cystic Fibrosis research continues, so that one day, all of our future family members or friends who are diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis can defeat this disease.

Cystic fibrosis is a life-threatening genetic disease that affects the lungs and digestive system of about 30,000 children and adults in the United States.

Every day, approximately three babies are born with Cystic Fibrosis in this country, and every day at least one person dies with Cystic Fibrosis.

Today, people with Cystic Fibrosis have a life expectancy of approximately 37 years, but because of advances in technologies, medications and procedures discovered through the research sponsored by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, that number continues to grow every day.

In 2012, the Food and Drug Administration approved the breakthrough therapy of ivacafter or Kalydeco. Unlike most medications that treat the symptoms of Cystic Fibrosis, Kalydeco counters the effect of one specific mutation.

According to the FDA, the use of the drug resulted in “significant and sustained improvement in lung function.”

There are more drugs coming down the pipeline, many from studies that I’ve been a participant, which will improve the quality of life similar to Kalydeco.

Please contact me at 334-868-9546, Dianne Kirby at 601-445-5444 or Walt Wilson by email at walt.wilson@colin.edu, if you would like to participate, sponsor a walker or make a donation.


Sam Kirby is a Natchez resident.