Coalition for Pulmonary Fibrosis Celebrates Landmark Year for Awareness, Advocacy, Research
Also in 2008, the CPF initiated its first Internet marketing campaign which included the launch of a new state-of-the-art website, and a new web-based advocacy program. These tools will dramatically improve the organization's ability to communicate with patients, researchers and caregivers, to increase public awareness of PF and to raise new funds to advance the work being done by the CPF. The Internet advocacy program had an immediate and dramatic impact on the CPF's efforts to pass the PFREA in the House. Through the efforts of CPF members communicating with their members of Congress, 30 House co-sponsors have been secured to date.
The majority of the CPF's research funding is managed via its partnership with ATS, and grants are awarded through a rigorous peer-review process administered by ATS. As a result of 2008 fundraising, the CPF will offer two new grant opportunities for 2009/2010. To date, the organization has granted more than $1 million in research funding to investigate novel approaches to understand and treat PF. "The CPF is proud that our continued public support, and the matching grants from ATS are allowing us to move research forward," said Michon. The CPF has also provided more than $200,000 in combined research gifts to the University of California Los Angeles, University of Michigan and the University of Chicago since 2005.
"The CPF is the voice for tens of thousands of Americans who are suffering from PF and who can't easily speak for themselves. We are very excited to have made so much progress this last year. Our deepest hope is that we will see a breakthrough in treatment for our patients and we will continue to raise research funds until the day there is a cure," Michon said.
Highlighting the impact of the disease on people from all walks of life, in 2008 we saw the loss of Odetta, the civil rights legend and singer, as PF contributed to her death, and cartoonist Steve Gerber, creator of Howard the Duck. In death, they joined other such luminaries as Marlon Brando, Evel Knievel, Robert Goulet, former Treasury Secretary William Simon, and Peter Benchley, all of whom were victims of the dreaded disease.