Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (CFF) families and volunteers gathered at the William Penn Hotel on February 2nd for the Western Pennsylvania Chapter’s Annual Meeting & Volunteer Recognition Reception.  The event reflected on a remarkable past year for the foundation and an opportunity for local foundation staff to highlight individuals and organizations key to their mission – to cure cystic fibrosis (CF) and provide all those living with CF the opportunity to live full, productive lives.

The evening led by WTAE’s David Kaplan included guest speaker Marc Ginsky, COO of the CF Foundation, and Mary Pat Joseph, Executive Director of The CF Foundation Western PA Chapter.  Mary Pat Joseph was quick to cite that the progress achieved in 2016 was because of the collective effort of many.

“The unflagging persistence of those who dare to dream big has fueled remarkable progress for people living with cystic fibrosis,” Mary Pat commented.  “The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s Western Pa Chapter had a banner year in 2016, thanks to many individuals — generous donors, volunteers, families and friends, all who remain deeply committed to finding a cure for CF.”

Among their achievements, the Western Pa Chapter joined with over forty states to advocate for access to high-quality, specialized care and CF treatments.  Their efforts paid off, as guests on this evening celebrated the approval of nine FDA approved therapies; including two therapies that treat the basic genetic defect in CF, the lumacaftor/ivacaftor combination drug (Orkambi®) and ivacaftor (Kalydeco).  Also noteworthy, CFF moves into 2017 with fifteen therapies in current development within their therapeutic pipeline.  These milestones mean incredible gains toward effective treatments for all people with CF, including those with rare mutations.

Community support was at an all time high in 2016 as well.  More than 5,000 walkers gathered in eleven locations across western Pennsylvania to show their support for those with CF during the CFF’s annual walk.  The result added up to some “Great Strides” for the Western Pa Chapter’s CF Foundation staff and volunteers.  Steadfast support coupled with new relationships raised more than $1.5 million in 2016, money that will continue to open doors in their mission to cure CF.

“Our Annual Meeting and Volunteer Recognition celebrates the many events hosted by our Chapter across western Pennsylvania in 2016,” said Mary Pat.  “Every person who gave their support made an impact in the ongoing quest for a cure and in helping those with CF live healthier lives today. As one team, with one dream, our Chapter and the Foundation relies on many generous individuals to help accelerate progress and make life for those with CF better today.”

Please join the Western Pa Chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation in recognizing the spirit of a few that were a driving force in 2016.  They are changing the face of cystic fibrosis as a disease.

2016 CFF Western PA Award Winners

2016 Community Partner Award: Cystic Fibrosis Association of Erie County

2016 Corporate Engagement Award of Excellence: First Commonwealth Bank

2016 Corporate Engagement Award of Excellence: Bowles Rice

2016 Corporate Engagement Award of Excellence: Big Y Group

2016 Outstanding CF Advocate Award: Daniel J. Weiner, MD. Co-Director, The Antonio J. and Janet Palumbo Cystic Fibrosis Center

2016 Outstanding Great Strides Champion Award: WVU Mountain State Cystic Fibrosis Care Center

2016 Top Rookie Fundraising Team Award: Cole’s Cronies

2016 Top Fundraising Team Award: Sadies Soldiers

2016 Young Professional Award: Jessie Scalo

2016 Mission Donors Award: Stephanie & Dan Vater

2016 CF Star Award: Katelyn Heinbaugh

2016 Hero of Hope Award: Studio Raw