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Daughter's Memory Drives Parents to Raise Funding, Awareness for Deadly Lung Disease

Thursday, September 17, 2009 General News J E 4
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2nd Annual Lisa Sandler Spaeth Memorial Golf Tournament to be held at Woodmont Country Club on September 14th

ROCKVILLE, Md., Sept. 9 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Two years ago, Dr. Jerome and Froma Sandler lost their daughter to the untreatable lung disease they now work to cure. Lisa Sandler Spaeth died from Pulmonary Fibrosis (PF) in 2007, a disease that claims 40,000 lives each year, the same as breast cancer. The Sandlers celebrate Lisa's life by hosting the second annual Lisa Sandler Spaeth Memorial Golf Tournament on September 14th at Woodmont Country Club in Rockville.

PF has no treatments and no cure and is a disease that scars the lungs, suffocates its victims and is almost invariably fatal. Most people never hear of PF until it strikes someone they love.

"The loss of our daughter is something we deal with every day and our hope is that by contributing to the search for a cure, we will help other families avoid this terrible tragedy," said Froma Sandler. "By asking the community to help support the CPF and pulmonary fibrosis research, we honor Lisa's memory while searching for a cure."

The Sandlers are working hard to change things for other patients and families by increasing awareness and funding for the disease. Because awareness of PF is unacceptably low, funding for research in the area is even lower. The Sandlers will donate proceeds from the golf tournament to the Coalition for Pulmonary Fibrosis (CPF) and those funds will be awarded to support much needed cutting-edge research in the field. The inaugural golf tournament in 2008 raised $275,000.

Dr. and Mrs. Sandler are veterans of the CPF's annual National Pulmonary Fibrosis Awareness Week on Capitol Hill, where they have met with many Members of Congress regarding the recently re-introduced Pulmonary Fibrosis Research Enhancement Act (H.R. 1079) and encouraged their support of the bill which currently has 36 co-sponsors. The memorial golf tournament will be held during National PF Week which is set for September 14-21 and both Dr. Sandler and Froma Sandler will be on Capitol Hill again this year.

"Dr. and Mrs. Sandler are such great role models for this cause. They are helping to bring much needed funding and awareness for PF and with their help, we will find desperately needed treatments," said Mishka Michon, Chief Executive Officer of the CPF.

Events as part of the golf tournament include a day of golf, a luncheon, dinner, a live auction and special prizes.

For further information or sponsorship, please contact Lauren Pinnar at (703) 860-0806.

About Pulmonary Fibrosis (PF)

Pulmonary Fibrosis (PF) is a lung disorder characterized by a progressive scarring -- known as fibrosis -- and deterioration of the lungs, which slowly robs its victims of their ability to breathe. Approximately 128,000 Americans suffer from PF, and there is currently no known cause or cure. An estimated 48,000 new cases are diagnosed each year. PF is difficult to diagnose and an estimated two-thirds of patients die within five years of diagnosis. Sometimes PF can be linked to a particular cause, such as certain environmental exposures, chemotherapy or radiation therapy, residual infection, or autoimmune diseases such as scleroderma or rheumatoid arthritis. However, in many instances, no known cause can be established. When this is the case, it is called idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF).

About the CPF

The CPF is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, founded in 2001 to accelerate research efforts leading to a cure for pulmonary fibrosis (PF), while educating, supporting, and advocating for the community of patients, families, and medical professionals fighting this disease. The CPF funds promising research into new approaches to treat and cure PF; provides patients and families with comprehensive education materials, resources, and hope; serves as a voice for national advocacy of PF issues; and works to improve awareness of PF in the medical community as well as the general public. The CPF's nonprofit partners include many of the most respected medical centers and healthcare organizations in the U.S. With more than 19,000 members nationwide, the CPF is the largest nonprofit organization in the U.S. dedicated to advocating for those with PF. For more information please visit www.coalitionforpf.org or call (888) 222-8541.

SOURCE Coalition for Pulmonary Fibrosis
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