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            The 2012 CF ‘Cat Walk will be held on Saturday, April 14, at Bearcat Stadium beginning at 8 a.m. As one of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation “Great Strides” events, the walk raises critical funds for life-saving research, education and care programs for cystic fibrosis (CF), a fatal genetic disease.

“It’s a disease that literally takes the breath away from its victims,” said Kathy Brand, RN, and one of the ‘Cat Walk organizers. Brand has personally been an advocate since her own niece suffered with CF and lost her life to the disease in 2001.

Cystic fibrosis afflicts 30,000 adults and children in the United States. It causes debilitating lung infections that can lead to premature death. More than 10 million Americans are symptomless carriers of the CF gene.

“The CF ‘Cat Walk is our way of rallying together to raise money and awareness about the disease,” Brand explained. “Every day, approximately three babies are born with CF in this country, and every day at least one person with CF dies. With the cost of research continuing to escalate as sophisticated, new technology is developed, financial support is more urgently needed to help find a cure.”

A health fair featuring free bone density, blood pressure, and lung capacity screenings will begin at 8:00 a.m.  The first 300 people who register will receive a gift and all walkers will have the opportunity to win a variety of door prizes.

Brand noted that the walk will also feature pinwheels to remind walkers of this year’s theme to help “Blow Away Cystic Fibrosis.”

This event is open to the public with no pre-registration is required and will be held rain or shine. It is hosted by Northwest Missouri State University and St. Francis Hospital & Health Services.

Please call the St. Francis Community Relations/Development office at (660)562-7933 for more information.

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