Great Strides Walk helps cystic fibrosis patients

Posted at 5:36 PM, Jun 24, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-24 19:36:53-04

Support and bonding, both important for cystic fibrosis patients and their families at the 7th annual Great Strides Walk.

Several teams made up of family and friends walked for the patients and got together at Veterans Park on Saturday.

Cystic fibrosis is a progressive, genetic disease that causes persistent lung infections, as well as a buildup of mucus in the pancreas and other organs.

The walk helps the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and as they research for a cure.

"The prognosis is better and better every year,” said Tina Lass, volunteer coordinator for the walk. “This year, the median survival rate was pushed up to 47 years. That’s enormous because it wasn’t so long ago they were hoping to live into their 20’s."

"I was talking with a family the other day whose son just turned 34 years old,” said Michael Turner, executive director of the Rocky Mountain Chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. “We now have a life expectancy of about 47. when he was born, it was 10.  They were told in the hospital to take him home and love him because he may not see middle school and now he’s 34 years old getting married and living a wonderful life."

Nationwide, this is the 30th year for the Great Strides Walk.

In Montana, another walk was also held Saturday in Missoula.