Please join us as we take GREAT STRIDES To Cure CF on Saturday May 14, 2022 at the Dreher Park in West Palm Beach. We are so excited that our annual walk will be in person after a two-year virtual walk event. We hope you will join us as a walker and/or a sponsor of our team “More Than Just Mitch”.
The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation has made tremendous strides since our son Mitch was born in 1973. Today there are four drugs available to correct the actual mutation of the disease. These drugs have enabled the life expectancy to grow to 50 years of age. Yet, there are at least 8% of our patient population who have no treatment available to them. The Foundation is focused on developing new drugs and therapies to treat these patients as well as bacterial and viral infections and especially correcting the actual gene through gene editing and gene modification. This is still many years away but it is possible. I am so proud of the work that has been accomplished and that so many of you have supported! All the CF parents I have told through the years that their children will have a different trajectory of life than Mitch had is happening. BUT there are still many CF patients with advanced lung disease where these treatments will be too little and too late; where lung transplantation is their only hope for survival.
Mitch had his first double lung transplant at the age of 36 in 2009; unfortunately, he went into chronic rejection within months of the TX although they didn’t realize this until 6 months later. We almost lost him but miraculously he had a “redo” in July 2010. This second TX allowed him to thrive for another 4 years until chronic rejection set in once again. And, of course, with his third TX in 2017, he had major complications and never made it out of the hospital. At the age of 44, Mitch finally lost his battle.
Our pledge to Mitch was to ensure that advancements be made not just in treating those with the disease by correcting the basic defect but to ensure that those with advanced lung disease would truly benefit with a lung transplant by improving the outcomes of this procedure.
In 2015 the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation made a $27 million commitment to improving the outcomes of lung transplantation by establishing the Lung Transplant Initiative and developing a consortium of 15 CF lung transplant centers. This comprehensive program seeks to enhance delivery of lung transplant clinical care, increase understanding of post-transplant complications, and help advance new therapies for lung transplantation through clinical trials. They have established a biorepository and patient registry database of all lung TX patients (not just CF), in collaboration with the Cleveland Clinic and will support research to improve understanding of the factors that affect lung transplant outcomes, specifically chronic lung rejection.
In addition, in 2018 the CF Foundation established the Mitchell Greenberg Memorial Award in Lung Transplantation Research with the first award given to Dr. Jason Christie from University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Christie and his associates identified certain bacteria and microbes which affect the lung immune cells in different ways that may be at the cause of CLAD (chronic rejection). By understanding how the lung cells respond to these “bugs” will help them understand how to eventually prevent it.
This year’s recipients are Dr. Tereza Martinu from Toronto General and Dr. Frank D’Ovidio from Columbia University. This multicenter project will be looking at gut-derived bile acids in the lung fluid to validate the correlation with inflammation and therefore, prediction of chronic rejection. By identifying the rejection prior to the appearance of symptoms and actively addressing this issue, further lung damage and destruction could possibly be avoided and reversed.
Our family is ecstatic that Mitch’s legacy lives on through the research award in his name as well as all the other efforts the Foundation is making. It is our dream that others who are undergoing this life saving measure, truly receive the gift of life to change their lives forever.
We hope you will once again support our family as we join thousands of others throughout this country to raise money through the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s GREAT STRIDES Walk to Cure CF. Please join us in support of our team - More than Just Mitch - for this year's walk.
A generous donation to the CF Foundation in honor of Mitch: $50, $100, or $1,000 – whatever amount you feel comfortable with – would be greatly appreciated. You can make a donation online by going to
If you live in Florida and would like to join our team for the walk, we would love to have you join us. You can register yourself as a walker using the link above OR just contact me at 301-674-4077 / firstname.lastname@example.org and I will handle it.
You can also mail us a donation to: 3546 S Ocean Blvd #902, Palm Beach, FL 33480. If you have received this through snail mail, a return envelope has been enclosed for your convenience.
As always, we thank you with every breath in our body. We miss Mitchell every day and think of him always. But we know he is watching us and smiling down on us as we move forward to ensure that his CF brothers and sisters will have a longer life than his 44 short years. Thank you for keeping Mitch’s memory alive.
All our love,
Bill and Gayle