The Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation (PFF) will launch its inaugural PFF Walk on Sept 9 in Chicago’s Lincoln Park to raise awareness and funds in its battle against pulmonary fibrosis (PF). Virtual walks will be held nationwide as part of the observance of Pulmonary Fibrosis Awareness Month in September.
Pulmonary fibrosis is a group of devastating lung diseases that cause scarring in the lungs, which limits the oxygen intake necessary for the brain, heart, and other organs to function. PF affects 200,000 Americans and results in more than 40,000 deaths annually. Fifty-thousand new cases are diagnosed each year. There is no known cure.
George Eliades, Chairman of the PFF Board of Directors, announced that more than 400 individuals and 80 teams from Chicago and across the country have already registered and are raising money to help fund research for a cure. “Whether you walk or donate to an individual or team, your contribution is making a difference,” he said.
More than half of the registered participants will travel to Chicago from out of state. Mark Maguire of McLean, Virginia, along with his wife, Linda, and daughters, Kate and Liz, formed the JacMagFamily Team. They have raised $5,798 toward their goal of $10,000. Mark has been diagnosed with familial pulmonary fibrosis and expects to soon be listed for a lung transplant. He hopes to have new lungs next year.
“My brother, my sister and I have all been diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis,” said Maguire. “My brother passed away from the disease. My sister received a double lung transplant last year and has had a challenging recovery but is finally home. Research will lead the way to a cure for this very difficult disease.”
Participants have the option to walk one or three miles. They can join a team or register individually. Individuals who are unable to participate in the walk in-person can register for the virtual walk and complete the miles in a park or path near their homes.