Impact Grants seek to support CF community connection

CF Foundation has awarded more than $1M to 42 programs since 2016

Marisa Wexler, MS avatar

by Marisa Wexler, MS |

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New grants awarded by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation will help fund 10 programs that support people impacted by cystic fibrosis (CF).

The awards are being given through the foundation’s eighth annual Impact Grants, which provide as much as $10,000 for up to two years to people and nonprofit organizations that help the CF community. The foundation has awarded more than $1 million to 42 programs since the Impact Grants were started in 2016.

“These awards reflect the Foundation’s commitment to supporting people in the CF community no matter where they are on their journey,” Sue Sullivan, vice president and head of community partnerships at the foundation, said in a press release.

This year, seven programs have been selected to receive Impact Grants for the first time.

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New CF Foundation funding to 7 programs

One program, BreatheStrong+, is intended to help people with CF connect with each other, practice self-care, and exercise. The program is run by the nonprofit Miles for CF, led by the mother of an adult with CF.

Another program, CF Community Footprints, provides weekly virtual sessions where people with CF and their families can move, write, and converse, ultimately leading to creating a collaborative dance piece. The program is run by Marisa Ballaro, a friend of a CF patient.

A third program called CF Senior Saturday Meet and Greets — led by Kristina Robinson, an adult with CF — aims to provide a space for people with CF ages 40 and older to connect and share resources to help address the challenges of being an older adult with the disease.

The storyteller training program Spit it Out and writing group The Salty Pen support CF patients in telling their stories through speaking or writing. Both are run by adults with CF.

Turning Points Coaching for Adults With CF, a coaching program that supports adults with CF who are starting on treatment with CFTR modulators, also received new funding. CFTR modulators are a recently developed class of therapies that can boost the functionality of the CFTR protein in people with eligible CF-causing mutations. The program is run by the parent of an adult with CF.

The seventh program to win new funding is a Young Adult Group Program that meets monthly to help young adults with CF connect and navigate life with their disease. The support group is led by Aliyah Novelli, an adult with CF and licensed social worker

“This year’s Impact Grants focus on connection. Through creative outlets like dance and writing, as well as guided coaching and connection conversations, these seven programs provide opportunities for people in the CF community to share, learn, support, and thrive,” Sullivan said.

This year’s Impact Grants also are renewing funding to three programs selected as part of last year’s grants. These include an online support group for parents of newly diagnosed infants with CF called “Bright Beginnings, Brilliant Futures,” a CF Master Class that aims to provide informational resources about the disease, and a program at STROLO University to support sexual and reproductive health for men with CF.