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Syosset-Jericho Tribune - Schools

Syosset High Students 'Call' For A Cure

Syosset High School’s student government will conduct a phone-a-thon on Tuesday, Oct. 22 and Wednesday, Oct. 23 to support vital research for a cure for cystic fibrosis (CF), a life-threatening genetic disease affecting more than 30,000 people in the United States.

Students will volunteer their time calling families within their school district. Since 1993, they have raised more than $200,000.

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, according to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. In those who have CF, 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, stopping natural enzymes from helping the body break down and absorb food.

More than 10 million Americans are symptomless carriers of the CF gene. Right now, there is no cure.

In the 1950s, few children with CF 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.

Through the development of treatments and drug therapies funded by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation since its inception in 1955, the median age of survival has increased from five years to 37 years of age.

Recent scientific breakthroughs that target the basic defect that causes CF have supplied a control for the disease. This drug, called Kalydeco, affects 4 percent of the CF population. Similar medications are currently in human trials and, if effective, will help another 85 percent of those struggling with CF.

Nearly 90 cents of every dollar raised by students will be funneled directly into life-saving research.

You can also donate online to the Syosset High School student government’s Telegift program by visiting www.cff.org/great_strides/melvilleoffice.