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Local teen plans cystic fibrosis walk
Event to honor friend who died from the disease
new deh cystic fibrosis walk latham pic
Taylor Latham

If you want to attend
The Cystic Fibrosis Walk 2012 will take place from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at Great Bend High School’s Memorial Stadium. For information on participation or making donations, contact Taylor Latham at 620-617-6020 or

 Taylor Latham, who will start her junior year at Great Bend High School next month, has spent her summer vacation on a mission.
The 15-year-old has taken it upon herself to organize the first-ever Cystic Fibrosis Walk in memory of her late neighbor and friend Stephen Thomas who succumbed to the insidious disease in 2005. The event is set for 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at GBHS’s Memorial Stadium.
Now, she needs folks to participate.
“I have people to walk,” she said, adding she could use more. She is also seeking people to pledge donations for the cause.
Latham has designed a T-shirt featuring a purple ribbon. She will be taking orders for them at the walk and the cost will be $12.
Thomas died nearly seven years ago, so why organize a walk now? “As I got older I realized this was something I wanted to do. He was just such a great person.”
Besides, she is looking at going into medical research when she gets older. “That is one of the diseases I want to study.”
Anyone who wants to take part can contact Latham at 620-617-6020 or
What is cystic fibrosis?
According to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, the CF is an inherited chronic disease that affects the lungs and digestive system of about 30,000 children and adults in the United States (70,000 worldwide). A defective gene and its protein product cause the body to produce unusually thick, sticky mucus that clogs the lungs and leads to life-threatening lung infections and     obstructs the pancreas and stops natural enzymes from helping the body break down and absorb food.
In the 1950s, few children with cystic fibrosis lived to attend elementary school. Today, advances in research and medical treatments have further enhanced and extended life for children and adults with CF. Many people with the disease can now expect to live into their 30s, 40s and beyond.
• About 1,000 new cases of cystic fibrosis are diagnosed each year.
• More than 70 percent of patients are diagnosed by age two.
• More than 45 percent of the CF patient population is age 18 or older.
• The predicted median age of survival for a person with CF is in the late 30s.
Currently, there is no cure for cystic fibrosis. However, specialized medical care, aggressive drug treatments and therapies, along with proper CF nutrition, can lengthen and improve the quality of life for those with CF.