Broadway’s biggest stars come together to raise money for Cystic Fibrosis

What do you get when Broadway’s biggest stars, such as Javier Muñoz and Gideon Glick, come together in the recording studio? One heck of a song. And one heck of a message.

Joined by Broadway veterans Laura Osnes, Christy Altomare and actress Sarah Levy, Muñoz and Glick have banded together for a new campaign — called the “Anyway” campaign — for an original song to help raise money for Emily’s Entourage.

At the center of the Entourage is Emily Kramer-Golinkoff: a 33-year-old daughter, sister and granddaughter who was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis when she was just a few weeks old. Her parents, Liza and Michael, have done everything in their power to raise Emily as if she was a normal child.

As the fatal disease only affects 70,000 people worldwide, funding for a cure is limited. Emily and her family are even more restrained by her specific mutation, which means medical funding is even rarer. And with a life expectancy of only 35-37 years for her kind of CF, time’s ticking.

Six years after the Kramer-Golinkoffs decided to take matters into their own hands, they’ve raised $3 million to drive high-impact research and speed up breakthroughs to research not only Emily’s mutation, but many other diseases including muscular dystrophy, inherited blood disorders and certain cancers.

They’ve also built a network of family, friends, and strangers from around the world, all of whom have been welcomed into the Entourage. Each Entourage member has been more inspired by Emily’s story than the next.

Take Elizabeth Phillipson-Weiner, from Emily’s hometown of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and composer of “Anyway.” She took a simple journal entry from a songwriting retreat, turning lyrics like “when the going gets tough I ask questions” into a prolific melody.

Elizabeth explained to AOL Lifestyle. “The song wasn’t just cathartic for me, but could actually ring true for a lot of other people. I immediately thought of Emily.” Working with co-writers, producers and engineers, that melody was soon turned into a demo.

But as inspired as Elizabeth was by Emily’s story, the Entourage required “star power” to bring this project alive.

“I cold contacted agents and managers, I asked friends and friends of friends and friends of friends of friends,” said Elizabeth. “We did hear ‘no’ quite a bit, but whenever I became discouraged or frustrated I thought about who and what I was doing this for.”

This story was originally published on AOL.com

Vertex Employees Donate $1M to CF and Other Communities via Matching Gift Program

By Carolina Henriques

Vertex Pharmaceuticals employees have raised more million $1 million  using  the Vertex Foundation‘s matching gift program in a show of commitment to causes that include the cystic fibrosis (CF) community, a company press release states.

The dollar-for-dollar matching gift program is being run through the nonprofit Vertex Foundation, established by the company in November 2017 as part of it’s charitable giving goal of donating $500 million to qualified nonprofits and other causes worldwide over 10 years.

To date, more than 500 Vertex employees have used the program to support 753 charities around the globe working to advance work in areas that include healthcare, human services, education, and disaster relief.

Vertex’s charitable commitment has four primary goals: supporting CF patients and caregivers worldwide, including enabling access to Vertex’s medicines; helping underserved students and young women with STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) education; supporting young doctors and scientists; and strengthening and fostering innovation in local communities through health and wellness programs.

“Giving back is in our DNA at Vertex, and our employees have a long history of going the extra mile to improve the lives of patients, students and their neighbors,” Jeffrey Leiden, president, chairman and chief executive officer of Vertex, said in the release. “I’m proud that The Vertex Foundation is able to help extend the impact of our employees’ giving and look forward to seeing the reach of these investments in the causes they care about most.”

Also as part of its 10-year commitment, Vertex awarded $400,000 in scholarships to eligible CF patients and their family members in May as part of its second “All in for CF” scholarship program. In total, 80 scholarships worth $5,000 each were awarded for the upcoming academic year.

Vertex, which specializes in cystic fibrosis, has three approved CF therapies: Kalydeco (ivacaftor), Orkambi (lumacaftor/ivacaftor), and Symdeko (tezacaftor/ivacaftor).

The company is also testing potential triple combination treatments for CF.

For the rest of this article, click here.

List of CF Patient Assistance Programs

Patient Assistance Programs

AbbVie 
CREON® CFCareForward Patient Support Program offers nutritional services to eligible patients, as well as financial and educational support for patients and families.
http://www.creon.com/CFCareForward
1-855-227-3493

Chiesi USA 
Chiesi USA offers prescription access support, financial assitance, and product counseling for patients taking BETHKIS® (Tobramycin Inhalation Solution) and PERTZYE® (pancrelipase) 
ttp://bethkis.com/support-services/
http://www.pertzyecf.com/patient/free-support-and-savings/r
1-888-865-1222

Genentech, Inc.
Genentech Access Solutions 
http://www.genentechaccesssolutions.com/portal/site/AS/
1-866-4-ACCESS
Pulmozyme® Access Solutions Co-Pay Card Program 
https://www.activatethecard.com/pulmozyme/welcome.html
1-877-794-8723

Gilead
Cayston® Access Program
http://www.gilead.com/responsibility/us-patient-access/cayston%20access%20program
1-877-722-9786

Novartis Pharmaceuticals
Patient Assistance Now (Spanish Speaking Services) 
http://www.pharma.us.novartis.com/info/patient-assistance/patient-assistance.jsp?usertrack.filter_applied=true&NovaId=2935377019348182802
1-800-245-5356

Vertex Pharmaceuticals
Vertex GPS: Guidance & Patient Support (Kalydeco® or ORKAMBI™)
http://www.vertexgps.com/
1-877-752-5933

RespirTech
Customer financial assistance program for patients using inCourage® airway clearance therapy.
http://www.respirtech.com/reimbursement-incourage-airway-clearance-therapy/patient-financial-resources
1-800-793-1261

Live 2 Thrive 
Live 2 Thrive Offers copay assistance, free vitamins and supplements, and nutritional information for eligible patients. 
https://www.live2thrive.org/
1-888-936-7371

OTHER RESOURCES

Foundation Care 
List of company assistance programs 
http://www.foundcare.com/fc-patients/reimbursement-help/

Cystic Fibrosis Patient Assistance Foundation
Assistance for affording medications and devices for managing CF
https://www.pparx.org/prescription_assistance_programs/cystic_fibrosis_patient_assistance_foundation

Cystic Fibrosis Services
Additional patient assistance programs for those without insurance coverage 
http://www.walgreens.com/topic/pharmacy/cystic-fibrosis-services.jsp

Boomer Esiason Foundation
Links to assistance programs for Tobradex, Creon, Aceon, Estratest HS, Prometrium, EstroGel, Pulmozyme, Advair, and Cipro
http://www.esiason.org/what-is-cf/resources/patient-assitance

HospitalBillHelp.org 
Guidance for Californians facing hefty hospital bills 
http://www.hospitalbillhelp.org

NeedyMeds.org 
Additional Patient Assistance Programs
http://www.needymeds.org

Partnership for Prescription Assistance
Database of Patient Assistance Programs
(Search by drug, company or program name) 

http://www.pparx.org/prescription_assistance_programs/list_of_participating_programs

Patient Advocate Foundation
Mediation and arbitration services for patients with debilitating and life-threatening illnesses.
http://www.patientadvocate.org/

Strangers Help Give Woman in Need of 2nd Double Lung Transplant Her Dream Wedding

“We’ve kind of realized that if we wait it might not happen,” she said.

Caleigh Haber has been dreaming of her wedding day for as long as she can remember, but she never realized it would come like this.

The 27-year-old, who has cystic fibrosis and is currently in need of her second double lung transplant, is about to marry the love of her life, Bryan Takayama. It’s an exciting celebration with a somber undertone.

Continue reading Strangers Help Give Woman in Need of 2nd Double Lung Transplant Her Dream Wedding

CF Relief Fund Launched for Those with CF Impacted by Hurricanes.

Isabella Passamano, daughter of Beth Sufian and James Passamano, has launched the CF Relief Fund to provide direct relief to children and adults with CF affected by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. Continue reading CF Relief Fund Launched for Those with CF Impacted by Hurricanes.

New health bill replaces hope with fear in cystic fibrosis patients

http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/healthcare/340084-new-health-bill-replaces-hope-with-fear-in-cystic-fibrosis

Letter from Preston W. Campbell, III, M.D.

As the Senate considers its proposal for healthcare reform, I urge lawmakers not to forget the millions of people who will rely on this legislation for lifesaving medicines and care. There is much more at stake with the Better Continue reading New health bill replaces hope with fear in cystic fibrosis patients

Asking For Help–Guest Blog

By Stephanie Rath

My father committed suicide when I was four. Being an only child it was just my mom and I. Thankfully we had help. We moved from North Carolina and into the basement of my grandparents. Being a single mom my mother needed help back Continue reading Asking For Help–Guest Blog