Cystic Fibrosis Walk: Adding Tomorrows Today

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Cystic Fibrosis (CF) Foundation is hosting Great Strides: Taking Steps to Cure Cystic Fibrosis Walks nationwide on Sunday, May 20, to raise funds for research and awareness. It is the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation's largest national fundraising event. In 2011, nearly $38 million was raised to support vital CF programs.

Kelly Hartner, Information Systems Enterprise Network Manager at Westminster, and her husband host a team, Claire's Hope, in honor of their daughter Claire. Since their initial sign up, nine years ago, the team has grown with family and friends' support. It now has about 75 walkers.

Staff from Westminster's AV Services department began helping raise money for CF about this same time, and regularly participate in the walk each year. "It's a great event that  allows you to do something worthwhile, enjoy the beauty of a marvelous state park, meet some terrifically dedicated people, and be educated  about a very worthy cause," said Andy Borts, Instructional Media Technician for Westminster Audio Visual Services. "We look forward to it every year."

Cystic Fibrosis, though a life-shortening, genetic disease, has improved in terms of medical research within the last five years, according to Mrs. Hartner.  As medical research progresses and potential drugs continue to be trialed, fund raising becomes more important.

"The research that the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation funds is responsible for providing the drugs and treatment that have enabled people with Cystic Fibrosis to live longer," Hartner said. "Thanks to efforts such as the walks and continued research, the FDA recently approved Kalydeco (VX-770), one of the drugs Claire needs to fix her CF defect. This drug will not be completely effective without another, which is still in phased trial, but this gives us all hope."

Team Claire's Hope and other supporters of the effort will walk the bike trail in Moraine State Park, in Butler, Pa, on May 20, 2012 at 10:00 am. Ninety percent of the funds collected by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation will go to research.

If you are interested in or would like more information on joining the effort, please contact Kelly and Eric Hartner at or by calling (724) 946-9072. For more information about the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, please visit

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Claire Hartner was diagnosed in September, 2003 with Cystic Fibrosis

Claire's Hope

Learn more about Claire and Cystic Fibrosis here

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What is life like with CF? Watch this short video at the link.