HARRISONBURG, Va., April 18, 2012 - On Saturday, April 21 the James Madison track and field team will be holding its only home meet of the season. Along with hosting athletes from Robert Morris, George Mason, and Virginia University at Lynchburg, the Dukes hope to raise awareness and funds to benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
The meet kicks off at the JMU Track and Field Complex at 10 a.m. with the men's hammer and will wrap up at about 4 p.m. The Dukes will be accepting donations throughout the day as well as raffling off a number of Chili's gift cards.
Madison head coach Ta' Frias said she looks forward to helping such a worthy cause and hopes that the JMU Community will join in with the team in helping to raise money and awareness for the disease.
"This is a wonderful opportunity for us to help the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation," Frias said. "It's such an amazing cause, and for us to be able to raise money and show our support is a great feeling. The foundation is one of the lesser known organizations so we are honored any time we can help to promote them and raise awareness for Cystic Fibrosis. Through efforts led by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, great strides have been made toward research, treatment and the search for a cure. Our team is just happy that we can help the cause."
Cystic Fibrosis is an inherited chronic disease that affects the lungs and digestive system of about 30,000 children and adults in the United States alone. It is caused by a defective gene that causes the human body to produce unusually thick mucus that can cause infections in the lungs as well as prevent the body from properly digesting and absorbing food. More than 70 percent of patients are diagnosed with the disease by their second birthday.
The Cystic Fibrosis foundation, based in Bethesda, Md., is the world's leader in the search for a cure. The foundation was established in 1955, at which point, most patients diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis did not live long enough to attend grade school. By 1989, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation-funded scientists had discovered the defective gene which causes CF, and now, through research and development, funded mostly by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, many patients are living well into their 30s and 40s. The non-profit, donor-supported foundation funds more CF research that any other organization in the world with the focus to support the development of new drugs to fight Cystic Fibrosis, improve quality of life for patients with the disease, and ultimately find a cure.
"This is a great opportunity for our fans to come out and show their support at our last home meet," Frias said. "I hope everyone will wear their purple in support for the team and also support the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation."