Each year, thousands of children are diagnosed with cystic fibrosis, a disease that kills most people before they turn 32. Saturday morning, dozens of coast residents took to the streets of Gulfport to help stomp out cystic fibrosis.
You could hear the feet pounding the pavement as the great strides walk got underway. Susan McDill and her 8-year-old son Cory were two of the people who laced up their shoes to help out in the fight against cystic fibrosis.
"We're here to try and raise money to find a cure for cystic fibrosis. My son has that," Susan McDill said.
Cory was diagnosed with the deadly disease when he was 14 months old. Like many others with cystic fibrosis, Cory's body produces too much mucus, clogging his lungs and blocking his body from absorbing nutrients. That's why he has to take medicine every time he eats or drinks.
Thirty-thousand Americans have cystic fibrosis. There's no known cure for the disease, but people at the walk say they hope that will soon change.
"That's why I'm here today, to continue to help raise and support money for the cystic fibrosis foundation, " said Tammy Meadows, whose daughter has cystic fibrosis.
"They come up with new drugs every single year. Just different things that's going to help the digestive system in your body become more productive," said Maryellen Fox of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
Many people at the walk, like Cory, are in a race against time. They hope a cure will soon be found. In the meantime, they're fighting this disease every step of the way.
The walk raised more than $6,000 for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. It's the first walk of its kind here on the coast since 2001. Event coordinators say they hope it will once again become an annual event.
If you have any questions about cystic fibrosis, or would like to make a donation, you can call the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation at 1-800-FIGHT-CF.