On February 17th, the Metro D.C. Chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation will host its 22nd Annual Joker’s Wild Casino Night at the beautiful Hilton McLean. Last year, more than 200 supporters raised over $120,000 to help fund cystic fibrosis research, care and programs.
Event Chairs Carl and Judy Riedy started this event back in 1996, shortly after their son, Chad, was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis (CF). This event has grown exponentially in its two decades of existence, from the amount of people who attend, the wonderful array of auction items – including a very robust live auction, featuring special trips and exclusive experiences – to the unique entertainment experience of playing mock table and card games. The CF Foundation’s Metro D.C. chapter, as well as its volunteer event committee, seeks to create something memorable for guests to look forward to each year, while raising the awareness and funds needed to help save thousands affected by this CF, including Chad.
Cystic fibrosis is an inherited chronic disease affecting approximately 30,000 children and adults in the United States. More than 10 million people are symptomless carriers of the defective CF gene, and about 1,000 new cases of CF are diagnosed each year. CF causes chronic lung infections and complications to other organs. The median predicted age of survival for a person with CF is about 40, and there is no cure.
The Riedy family has kept the momentum going for so long, because the results of this annual event are measurable. They are grateful for the Foundation’s aggressive approach in drug development and discovery, saying, “Through the progression of this event, we have watched the Foundation develop a series of new drugs and therapies that have added not only years, but dramatically increased the quality of our son’s life.” Chad is now a healthy 36-year-old, married to his wonderful wife Julie and father to two young boys. Joker’s Wild Casino Night is definitely a family affair, with Chad and Julie piloting the appeal to include young professionals.
Besides the miracle of Chad’s life, as he has now surpassed his original prognosis by living past middle school, Carl and Judy are seeing firsthand the hope and continued success that the Foundation has created. The most recent CF drug therapy, Orkambi was approved by the FDA last year – this drug is considered a major advancement for the nearly 30,000 Americans living with CF. Chad comments, “I am fortunate to be where I am today, and I support the direction the Foundation is moving towards, now that more than half of the CF population is over 18 years old.” Not only is Chad helping in the fight to one day find a cure, he’s advocating as an adult living with CF. Chad’s helping to navigate previously uncharted waters as a member of the National Adult Advisory Committee, by working closely as a liaison between the Foundation and CF adults nationwide, bringing to the forefront new issues they are facing such as mental health, lung transplants, and family planning.
While the progress of the Foundation is clear, there is still much to do to ensure ALL CF patients live a long and healthy life. Without the continued support of the community, the CF Foundation will not reach its mission of a cure for all. To find out more about the CF Foundation’s mission and its venture philanthropy model, please visit cff.org.
For more information about the Joker’s Wild Casino Night on February 17th, including tickets and sponsorship opportunities, please contact Jenna Vince, Development Director, 301-215-7422 or firstname.lastname@example.org.