16th Annual Walk to Make Cystic Fibrosis History Transformed into a Virtual Experience
The cystic fibrosis community rose to the challenge as Cystic Fibrosis Canada’s largest fundraising event took a new online approach
TORONTO (June 2, 2020) – The Walk to Make Cystic Fibrosis History: Virtual Challenge has raised more than $1.8 million to help fund critical cystic fibrosis (CF) research and care, as well as advocacy for improved access to life-changing CF medications that are desperately needed.
When the COVID-19 pandemic prompted Cystic Fibrosis Canada’s largest national fundraising event, the Walk to Make Cystic Fibrosis History, to move to a virtual format —the CF community was up for the challenge.
The event was held during the month of May, Cystic Fibrosis Awareness Month. Over 3,300 participants across Canada had the opportunity to choose their own challenge, such as running, dancing or singing, and completed their walk, their way, on their own time —from the safety of their own homes and neighborhoods. Participants shared footage of themselves completing their challenge via social media and asked their families and friends to support their fundraising efforts.
“This year, our community embraced a new virtual model and we are so thankful for the ongoing support and generosity of Walk participants and donors,” said Carly Schur, Chief Development Officer at Cystic Fibrosis Canada. “CF Canada, like all charitable organizations, has seen tremendous declines in funds raised because of COVID-19 and my most heartfelt thanks goes out to everyone who participated and donated to help us continue CF Canada’s important work.”
The Walk to Make Cystic Fibrosis History is an annual opportunity for the CF community to rally together across Canada in support of the people they love, and raise awareness and funds to help them live longer, healthier lives.
“The Walk is the first CF event that I took part in after [my daughter] Léonie’s diagnosis. It was where I understood that my family and I are not alone in this battle,” said Maxime Boucher, parent of a child living with CF.
Cystic Fibrosis is a rare, fatal genetic disease, mainly affecting the lungs and digestive system. It can be an isolating disease, because people living with CF can’t come within 6 feet of each other, due to the need for infection prevention. Many have said that living with CF is like living with COVID-19 hygiene and social distancing protocols every day.
For the past 16 years, the Walk to Make Cystic Fibrosis History has taken place in more than 70 locations across Canada where thousands of people walk for a cure or control for CF. Since its inception in 2005, the Walk to Make Cystic Fibrosis History has raised more than $36 million in peer-to-peer fundraising to support CF research, advocacy initiatives, and high-quality individualized care.
Cystic fibrosis is the most common fatal genetic disease affecting Canadian children and young adults. It is a multi-system progressive disease that affects mainly the lungs and the digestive system. In the lungs, where the effects are most devastating, a build-up of thick mucus leads to progressive loss of respiratory function. Mucus also builds up in the digestive tract, making it difficult to digest and absorb nutrients from food. As improved therapies have helped to address the malnutrition issues, ultimately most deaths related to cystic fibrosis are due to lung failure. There is no cure.
Cystic Fibrosis Canada
Cystic Fibrosis Canada is one of the world’s leading charitable organizations committed to finding a cure for cystic fibrosis and is an internationally-recognized leader in funding CF research, innovation, and clinical care. We invest more funding in life-saving CF research and care than any other non-governmental agency in Canada. Since 1960, Cystic Fibrosis Canada has invested more than $261 million in leading research, care and advocacy, resulting in one of the world’s highest estimated median age of survival for Canadians living with cystic fibrosis. For more information, visit cysticfibrosis.ca.
For more information, please contact:
Kenya Francis, Associate, Corporate Communications
Cystic Fibrosis Canada
Tel: 416-485-9149 ext. 203
Tel: 1-800-378-2233 ext. 203