By COLLEEN MCCARTHY
This weekend will be filled with Mississippi State University homecoming fun, but there will also be an opportunity to raise money for a good cause and get some exercise in the fall weather.
The 2011 Starkville Great Strides 5K Walk/Run for Cystic Fibrosis will be held at the Cochran Research Center at 5:30 p.m.
Approximately 30,000 Americans suffer from Cystic Fibrosis, a genetic disease that causes a thick mucus to build up in lungs, digestive track and other areas. Cystic Fibrosis can cause life-threatening lung infections. The average life span of a person with the disease is 37 years.
According to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, over 10 million Americans are carriers of the CF gene and don’t know until their child is born with the disease.
“Funds raised with events like the Mississippi State Great Strides support the CF Foundation’s mission to fund medical research and financial support to accredited care centers. CF Patients require extensive care — frequent visits with their physicians, nutritionists, therapists, etc.,” Development Director Laurie Martin said. “The foundation made national headlines in the last couple of weeks as our long-awaited VX-770 treatment was submitted to the FDA. This is the first drug to treat the cause of Cystic Fibrosis and not just its symptoms. Its companion drug, VX-809, will hopefully be ready for submission next year.”
The medications could make a huge difference in the lives of Cystic Fibrosis patients, but Martin said the foundation will still need millions of dollars to continue the research required.
Kappa Sigma and Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternities are helping to organize the event.
“One of our alumni actually suffers from Cystic Fibrosis. We wanted to get more involved in the community but also wanted to give back to one of our own,” Kappa Sigma member Will Gentry said.
Kappa Sigma will also hold a fundraiser for the foundation from 5-7 p.m. tonight, selling barbeque plates for $5 at its fraternity house on campus.
Sigma Alpha Epsilon completed a 1,200 letter campaign seeking donations for the foundation and will assist in the event, as well.
“We are so proud to be working with these dedicated students and commend them for their efforts,” Martin said. “Both fraternities have shown outstanding professionalism and leadership and it has been a privilege to work with them.”
To learn more about Cystic Fibrosis or about the CF Foundation, visit http://www.cff.org .