More than 400 individuals and 80 teams from across the United States have registered for the event at Chicago’s Lincoln Park. In addition, “virtual walks” will take place throughout the nation to raise funds to advance research for a cure.
“Whether you walk or donate to an individual or team, your contribution is making a difference,” George Eliades, chairman of the PFF’s board of directors, said in a press release.
Participants can choose between walking one or three miles, either in a registered team or by themselves. Those unable to participate in person can choose to attend the virtual walk and complete the miles in a park or path closer to their homes.
A social media campaign will also take place alongside the PFF Walk. Members of the PF community are encouraged to wear blue and share images using the hashtag #BlueUp4PF throughout the month of September.
Like many other participants, Mark Maguire of McLean, Virginia, plans to travel to Chicago with his wife, Linda, and daughters Kate and Liz. Together, they have raised $5,798 toward their $10,000 goal. Maguire has familial PF and is now waiting for a lung transplant, which he hopes will take place next year.
“My brother, my sister and I have all been diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis,” he said. “My brother passed away from the disease. My sister received a double lung transplant last year and has had a challenging recovery but is finally home. Research will lead the way to a cure for this very difficult disease.”
As part of the initiative, Chicago’s Wrigley Building and Nashville’s Parthenon will be bathed in blue lighting for PF Awareness Month. In addition, Nashville will host the PFF’s fourth biennial international healthcare conference, PFF Summit 2017, set for Nov. 9-11.