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Making strides toward a cure

Cystic Fibrosis Foundation supporters will trek kilometers around mall to help fight disease

Posted: April 16, 2009 10:30 p.m.
Updated: April 17, 2009 10:00 a.m.
 
For local cystic fibrosis sufferers, another walk-a-thon means getting another step closer to finding a cure.

With that search for a cure firmly in mind, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation will host its annual Great Strides walk-a-thon from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday at the Westfield Valencia Town Center.

Cystic fibrosis is a life-threatening genetic disease that affects about 30,000 people in the United States. The disease causes its sufferers to develop thick mucus buildup in their lungs, resulting in deadly infections. Those with the disease undergo daily therapy and exercise in an attempt to slow its effects. There is no cure for cystic fibrosis. More than half of all cystic fibrosis victims die before they reach age 31.

Kristina de Bree, of Valencia, will participate in the walk for the eighth time this year.

"I was originally responsible for bringing the walk to Santa Clarita," said de Bree, 22, who was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis at six weeks of age. "It's just really symbolic of my passion for fighting cystic fibrosis. The ultimate goal is to make CF stand for "cure found."

Great Strides is the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation's largest fundraising event. Participants will start the walk between Sisley Italian Kitchen and T.G.I. Fridays and will walk up to 10 kilometers around the perimeter of the mall, de Bree said.

The community can donate online, bring donations or volunteer on the day of the walk.

The Great Strides Web site is http://www.cff.org/great_strides.

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