Hundreds Walk for Cystic Fibrosis - KULR-8 Television, Billings, MT

Hundreds Walk for Cystic Fibrosis

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Tens of thousands are affected by cystic fibrosis. Saturday, more than 200 turned out in Billings to walk and raise money to fight the disease during the Great Strides Walk for Cystic Fibrosis.

Halee Brubaker, 18, has the disease.

"I have to take about 40 pills a day just to help with everything and then I’ve been to the hospital about twice this year because my lung function had gone down,” she says. “It’s back up now.”

Cystic fibrosis is a life-threatening genetic disease affecting the lungs and digestive system. It causes a thick, sticky mucus to form in the body. According to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, about 1,000 new cases of CF are diagnosed each year. Halee says another reason why she's walking is to help others like her.

"So later on in life, when kids are little, they can have pills that will help them better instead of having to grow up and be in the hospital in and out all your life,” she says.

Organizers also have close ties to the disease. Tina Laas' 12-year-old son Alex was diagnosed with CF at birth.

"I believe that Alex will have a full life as long as science keeps advancing as quickly as it is and therapies keep coming through the pipeline as quickly as they are,” Laas, the walk’s co-chair, says.

Laas says it's encouraging to see so many people at the event. "All put together, you saw all these people and each one of them brought just a little something here to this event today and it happens all over the country. And it's a huge, huge thing for people with cystic fibrosis."

"It means the world to me to have everybody here and support me the way they do,” Brubaker says.

Event organizers say they hope to raise more than $22,000 at this year’s walk.