Cystic Fibrosis Foundation to host Great Strides walk in Bethesda on May 8

Hundreds will gather and walk in downtown Bethesda to help fund research for cystic fibrosis, a life-threatening hereditary disease that impacts the lungs and digestive system.

The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation will be hosting its annual Great Strides on Bethesda Row on Wednesday, May 8.

The foundation helps to raise money for research to combat cystic fibrosis, which is a genetic disease that causes the body to produce thick and sticky mucus that can clog the lungs, which can lead to persistent lung infections and limit the ability to breathe over time.

Currently, more than 30,000 people in the U.S. have the disease that causes a shorter-than-normal life span and more than 1,000 new cases are diagnosed each year.

With the help of organizations such as the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, there have been tremendous advancements in treating the disease and increasing the quality of life for patients. Back in the 1950s, if a child was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis, they rarely lived long enough to attend elementary school. But now, many patients are living long enough to attend college, pursue careers and have families of their own.

The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation's Great Strides raises money to not only find better treatments for the disease but to find a cure once and for all.

You can learn more about how to sign up and participate in the Great Strides in Bethesda here.

There will also be Great Strides events held throughout the DC region, including:

- Leesburg, Virginia, on Sunday, May 19

- Annapolis, Maryland, on Saturday, June 1

- Washington, D.C. on Saturday, June 1