Taylor Latham honored the memory of a friend and raised awareness of Cystic fibrosis on Saturday with her second annual Cystic Fibrosis Walk.
Several people met at the Great Bend High School track, braving the heat to walk or run. Others were willing to skip that and simply buy a T-shirt or make a donation to the Kansas Chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. The proceeds will help people in Kansas with CF and will also support medical research in the hopes to find a cure of this genetic disease.
Latham’s childhood friend, Stephen Thomas, died from CF at the age 12. To honor Stephen, she participated in a couple of CF walks in Wichita before deciding to organize a Great Bend walk. Latham is a sophomore at Kansas State University, majoring in finance and political science.
Cystic fibrosis is a life-threatening, genetic disease that causes persistent lung infections and progressively limits the ability to breathe.
According to the CF Foundation (www.cff.org), in the United States:
• About 30,000 people are living with cystic fibrosis (70,000 worldwide).
• Approximately 1,000 new cases of CF are diagnosed each year.
• More than 75 percent of people with CF are diagnosed by age 2.
• Nearly half of the CF population is age 18 or older.