Three Pulmonary Fibrosis Organizations Unite For National 'Blue Shirt Friday' Campaign

SAN JOSE, Calif., April 9 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Coalition for Pulmonary Fibrosis, The Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation and the Pulmonary Fibrosis Association of Texas today announced the launch of a special, grassroots campaign to build increased national awareness of Pulmonary Fibrosis (PF). "Blue Shirt Friday" is the first combined national effort by the three nonprofit organizations that each focus on the fight for treatments and a cure for the fatal lung disease that takes as many lives each year as breast cancer (40,000). People will be encouraged to buy a special blue tee shirt and wear it each Friday in 2010 in recognition of the struggle of tens of thousands of patients who suffer from the untreatable disease.

The shirts convey a simple but urgent message. The front of the blue shirt reads "Every 13 minutes someone…" with the back of the shirt continuing "…dies of pulmonary fibrosis". A graphic representation of one healthy lung and one dark and shrunken lung (how the lung appears with PF) illustrates the impact of PF. The logos and websites of the three organizations are also represented on the back.

Given the relentlessness of pulmonary fibrosis, a progressive and irreversible scarring of the lungs, lack of any current treatments, and the increasing number of patients (a 156 percent increase since 2001), the organizations' combined voice is vital to spread the word about the disease and to the campaign's success. An important intended outcome of the effort is that increased public awareness will lead to increased funding for research.

The three leaders of the organizations, Leanne Storch, Mishka Michon and Jan Orndorff, issued a joint statement about their combined effort: "We will do whatever is necessary to bring awareness to a disease that has such terrible consequences for so many people. Working together to tell this story to the world makes us even more effective at communicating the need for solutions."

The organizations have links to the special tee shirt website( www.BlueShirtsforPF.com), from each of their respective websites: www.coalitionforpf.org, www.pulmonaryfibrosis.org; and www.pfatx.org. Shirts are $20 and net income will be equally distributed amongst the three organizations.

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 501C(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 23,000 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.

About the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation

The Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that was founded in Denver, Colorado in 2000. The mission of the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation is to find a cure for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) by funding research, advocating for pulmonary fibrosis issues, promoting disease awareness, and providing a compassionate environment for supporting patients and their loved ones. We aim to accomplish this by working with the medical community to drive new research, increase research funding, by representing the needs of our constituents in Washington DC through national advocacy, and by developing caring relationships with patients and their families throughout the course of their disease. Since the inception of the Foundation, it has funded or is committed to fund $3,000,000 in basic research. For more information please visit www.pulmonaryfibrosis.org or call 312-587-9272.

About the Pulmonary Fibrosis Association of Texas

This non-profit foundation works to raise funding for basic oxygen, medical equipment and PF-related medications for patients in need and hosts a large support group of patients in the Houston, Texas and surrounding areas.