Ohio Is Making Great Strides - Will You?

Chad W. Lutz
Every year, thousands of supporters rally together to raise money for Cystic Fibrosis. In America, over 30,000 men, women, adults, and children live with the debilitating disease. Since the 1950s, great strides have been made in finding a cure and major advancements in medicine have more than doubled the median age of those living with the chronic lung disease.

Normally, this is the part where I spew a million sad and sappy figures about dying kids that will never receive the treatment they need because [fill in] disease is just too horrible and too devastating to allow for happy endings. But this fairy tale has a different ending and it's anything but Grimm.

Cystic Fibrosis is genetic disease that affects the lungs and respiratory system in patients. In individuals with Cystic Fibrosis, a crucial type of protein called CFTR proteins is either defective or missing. Lacking healthy CFTR proteins results in poor respiratory function, including mucus build up which leads to chronic lung infections and damage to the pulmonary system.

Over the last few years the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation has been working tirelessly to raise money for different treatments coming down the RX pipeline. Long ago, the only option for many patients included painful and oftentimes unsuccessful lung transplants. However, advances have been made and new treatments, including the VX-770 potentiator lead the way in new drug therapy. The new CFTR potentiator compound activates chloride channels in the defective Cystic Fibrosis cells, which potentially allows for greater overall lung performance and a decrease in symptoms.

What’s really exciting is the VX-770 and two other CFTR Modulation drugs are only a few trials and grants away from being released to the general public. The government and various corporate agencies do their part to fund the research and development of these miracle drugs, but the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation knows it will need more help if it’s going to make these treatments widely available to the masses.

In an effort to raise awareness of both the treatments and the illness in the general public, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation sponsors a number of fundraising walks throughout the United States called Great Strides. Great Strides events bring together family and friends affected by Cystic Fibrosis to help create a strong community of support for those with the disease. Below is a list of all the Ohio Great Strides events taking place throughout the summer.

Northeast Ohio

Saturday, May 14
Canton - McKinley High School (9a.m.)
Wooster - Hewitt-Coles Pavilion (9a.m.)

Sunday, May 15
Holmes County - Airport Park (2:30p.m.)
Lake County - North Chagrin Reservation (1p.m.)

Saturday, May 21
Cleveland - Cleveland Metroparks Zoo (8a.m.)

Sunday May 22
Akron - Hardesty Park (1p.m.)

Saturday, September 10
Mahoning/Trumbull Counties - Boardman Park Masters Pavilion (9a.m.)

Central Ohio

Sunday, May 15
Delaware/Marion - Mingo Park (1p.m.)
Champaign/Logan Counties - Lion’s Club Park (1p.m.)
Mansfield - Richland Carrousel Park (1p.m.)

Northwest Ohio

Saturday, May 14
Lima - Ottawa Metro Park (1p.m.)
Fremont - Connor Park (10a.m.)

Sunday, September 11
Mercer County - South Park (1p.m.)

Southeast Ohio

Saturday, May 14
Cambridge - Deerassic Park (1p.m.)
Zanesville - Zane’s Landing Park (9a.m.)

Southwest Ohio

Saturday, May 14
Georgetown - Katherin Hanlon Memorial Park (10a.m.)
Preble County - Fort Saint Clair (10a.m.)
Mason - Pine Hills Lake Park (9a.m.)

Sunday, May 15
Lebanon - Harmon Park (12p.m.)

Saturday, May 21
Washington C.H. - Southern State Community College Fayette Campus (9a.m.)
Cincinnati - Sawyer Point (9a.m.)

Sunday, May 22
Dayton - Island Metro Park (12p.m.)

Friday, June 3
Blue Ash - Blue Ash Town Square (5p.m.)

Saturday, June 4
Portsmouth - SOMC Friends Community Center (10a.m.)
Hamilton - Joyce Park (10a.m.)

Saturday, June 11
Troy - Community Park Brick Pavilion (10a.m.)

To locate a Great Strides walk near you, or for more information about the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation please visit the Great Strides homepage or visit