Kin Canada and Cystic Fibrosis

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Cystic fibrosis (CF) is the most common, fatal genetic disease affecting young Canadians. CF affects mainly the lungs and the digestive system.  In the lungs, CF causes severe breathing problems.  A build-up of thick mucus makes it difficult to clear bacteria and leads to cycles of infection and inflammation, which damage the delicate lung tissues.  In the digestive tract, CF makes it extremely difficult to digest and absorb adequate nutrients from food.  Thick mucus also blocks the ducts of the pancreas, preventing enzymes from reaching the intestines to digest food.  Therefore, persons with CF must consume a large number of artificial enzymes (on average 20 pills a day) with every meal and snack, to help them absorb adequate nutrition from their food.  They must also follow a demanding daily routine of physical therapy to keep the lungs free of congestion and infection.  It is estimated that one in every 2,500 children born in Canada has CF.

At the present time, approximately 3,400 children, adolescents, and adults with cystic fibrosis attend specialized CF clinics.  From a relationship that began on a bar stool in 1963, a 49-year friendship has grown into a committed partnership.  Over the years, Kinsmen and Kinettes have devoted their efforts to an incredible assortment of events ranging from Daisy Days to road tolls to barbecues - all to help fight cystic fibrosis.  The friendship between Kinsmen and Kinettes and Canadians with CF began out of a conversation between Dr. Douglas Crozier, then director of the CF Clinic at The Hospital for Sick Children, and Kinsmen Bill Skelly. During a chance meeting at a Scarborough pub, Dr. Crozier spoke to Bill about his young CF patients. This conversation left Bill interested in joining the fight against cystic fibrosis, and Dr. Crozier was invited to speak to the North York Kinsmen Club.  Almost immediately, the North York Kinsmen enthusiastically backed the CF cause.

By 1964, District 8 had formally adopted CF as its District Service Project.  District 8's commitment sparked the interest of other Districts, and, before long, involvement spread Canada-wide, throughout the Kin organization.  In 1987, the Association of Kinsmen and Kinette Clubs adopted CF as a National Service Project.  Today, Kinsmen and Kinettes remain loyal friends of CF, continually fundraising for CF research and promoting CF awareness.  In 1997, Kin reached a great milestone when total funds raised for CF amounted to $25 million.  In 2001, Kin raised more than $1 million to help beat CF, bringing the Kin's cumulative contribution to Cystic Fibrosis Canada (CFC) to more than $33 million. In 2012 Kin's cumulative contribution exceeded the $40 million mark!  These funds have helped Canadian researchers make major strides in the fight against cystic fibrosis.

For more information, please visit the Cystic Fibrosis Canada (CFC) website at http://www.cysticfibrosis.ca