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Foundation helps to add tomorrows

Three hundred people have cystic fibrosis in the Capital District, and there are 30,000 Americans with the disease. Cystic fibrosis is a genetic disease, which causes the body to produce unusually thick mucus that clogs the lungs and obstructs the pancreas.

Santoli said that symptoms of the disease start almost at birth, but today newborn screening for the disease helps parents and doctors manage the disease earlier than ever.

There are 25 new drugs in development in what the foundation calls the "pipeline of promise," and 90 percent of donations to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation go directly to research for those treatments.

Santoli said that the Northeastern New York chapter raised about $750,000 last year.

John VanLuyk is an account manager for Airgas and travels across the country with the bike raising money.

VanLuyk said Airgas is involved in cystic fibrosis because the issue is important to the company's chairman and CEO, Peter McCausland.

"It's the charity he decided to put his money in and his attention behind," VanLuyk said. "It's almost a $4 billion company."

For information about the Northeastern New York chapter of the organization, call 783-7361 or visit the Web site at www.cff.org/Chapters/neny/.

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