Cystic Fibrosis Walk: Pictured, left to right, are students Kristen Box, Santo; Sara Aaron, Saginaw; Penny Firmin, Springtown; Kaitlyn Dygert, Weatherford; Shirin Rezai, Weatherford; Nick Duncan, Santo; Mariana Correa, Fort Worth; Danna Carter, Burleson; Angela Sanborn, Springtown; and Tonya Decker, Weatherford. Also participating but not pictured: WC instructors Tonya Edwards, department chair for Allied Health programs at WC, and Christel Brenner, respiratory clinical coordinator.
In addition to talking the talk, students in the Respiratory Care program at Weatherford College walked the walk, as well, by participating in Great Strides, the Cystic Fibrosis (CF) Foundation's largest and most successful national fundraising event, held last month at Holland Lake Park in Weatherford. The WC Respiratory Club raised more than $2,000 in contributions and pledges for Great Strides.
“Cystic fibrosis is an inherited chronic disease that affects the lungs and digestive system of about 30,000 children and adults in the United States (70,000 worldwide),” said Brian Andrews, WC respiratory care clinical instructor. “A defective gene and its protein product cause the body to produce unusually thick, sticky mucus that clogs the lungs and leads to life-threatening lung infections and obstructs the pancreas and stops natural enzymes from helping the body break down and absorb food.”
In the 1950s, few children with cystic fibrosis lived to attend elementary school. Today, advances in research and medical treatments have further enhanced and extended life for children and adults with CF. Many people with the disease can now expect to live into their 30s, 40s and beyond, said Andrews.