Thank you Mr. Chairman, Ranking Member Dingell, Mr. Deal and Mr. Brown for bringing this resolution before the committee. I also want to extend a special thank you to my friend and co-founder of the Congressional Cystic Fibrosis Caucus, Mr. Stearns. Thank you for your commitment to this issue.
The resolution before us today to support the goals and ideals of National Cystic Fibrosis Awareness month is really about bringing hope to people with Cystic Fibrosis and their loved ones.
Cystic fibrosis (CF) is one of the most common life-threatening genetic diseases in the United States. People with CF, produce abnormally thick, sticky mucus which make breathing very difficult, they find as a result they cough and wheeze constantly and are at constant risk for life-threatening lung infections.
Approximately 30,000 children and adults in the United States have Cystic Fibrosis. But it affects far more than 30,000 people. It affects all of the families and loved ones of people struggling with this horrible disease.
It affects the Moms who have to wake up at 5:00 am so that they can pound on their child’s chest before they go to work. It affects their siblings who have to wait with their sister while she goes to yet another doctor’s appointment. And it affects the Dads who worry that their child will never grow up to have a normal life.
This resolution is about supporting these families and providing them with hope for a better future.
Significant improvements have been made in the treatment of cystic fibrosis. A few decades ago, many children with CF did not live past 10 years old. Today, the life expectancy is 35 years. Much of these achievements are due to the hard work and dedication of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
Yet, we still have a long way to go to provide people with CF with a normal and healthy life. It is time for Congress to become more involved in the pursuit of a cure. We need to make a greater investment in research and make a stronger commitment to the people with CF, their families and caretakers.
You know, they say that the most powerful four-letter word in the English language is HOPE.
Hope… that we can raise awareness of the families struggling with CF.
Hope… that we will find better treatments and ultimately a cure.
Hope… that our children will have to turn to the history books to learn what Cystic Fibrosis was.
Thank you again to the Committee and to my Co-Chair of the Caucus- Mr. Stearns for working together to bring this resolution before the committee. This is not a Democrat or Republican issue, it is a Human issue.
I hope that you will all join our Caucus, support this resolution and help us find a cure for this horrible disease.