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The Start of a New Year

by Dr. Amy Hajari Case, Senior Medical Advisor for Education and Awareness
January 23, 2021
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“What a year for a new year
We need it like we needed life, I guess
Last one left us lying in a mess
What a year for a new year…”
Dan Wilson

The start of a new year can be an exciting time, when we feel hopeful and anticipatory as we make resolutions and plans for the future. Certainly, we can all agree that we’re happy to have 2020 behind us. It was a year dominated by the global COVID-19 pandemic, marked by anxiety, isolation, and loss. But I’ll bet as we reflect, there were reasons to celebrate and to hope. A new baby. A graduation. A lung transplant. And in a triumph of science, not one, but two effective vaccines against SARS-CoV-2.

So far, 2021 feels an awful lot like 2020, and if we’re honest with ourselves, that’s to be expected. To borrow a phrase from T.S. Eliot (and a New York Times headline), the pandemic will end “not with a bang but a whimper.” The return to a more normal existence is coming, but slowly, as more people are vaccinated and viral spread is mitigated.

Beyond the eventual end of the pandemic, I’m hopeful for the PF community. In spite of the challenges we all faced, our PFF team spent 2020 hard at work with successes in legislative advocacy, fundraising, education, and community engagement. And 2021 holds much promise with new partners, projects, and plans.

  • Our signature fundraiser, Broadway Belts for PFF! , is going virtual this year, so you can enjoy the glitz and glam of the Broadway’s hottest stars from the comfort of your home!
  • The first precision medicine study in IPF, the  PRECISIONS trial, has begun enrollment. This NIH-funded project is utilizing PFF Registry data for initial recruitment and 20 PFF Care Center Network (CCN) sites will participate.
  • Planning is well underway for PFF Summit 2021 with details to come in April.
  • A new corporate partner, United Therapeutics (UT), has joined as a sponsor of the PFF Registry for the next three years. UT joins Founding Partner Genentech and Visionary Partner Boehringer Ingelheim and many others in support of the Registry.
  • The second phase of the PFF Registry will launch in 2021, with recruitment at PFF CCN sites as well as opportunities for patients, caregivers, family members, and lung transplant recipients outside CCN sites to participate.

And there will be so much more, from support group meetings to webinars to new research and programs!

So cheers to a new year, one that is bound to have its own challenges and triumphs. Cheers to the light at the end of a long tunnel. And cheers to every step that takes us closer to a world without pulmonary fibrosis.

“Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul
And sings the tune without the words
And never stops at all.”
Emily Dickinson