Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Loses a Friend

Patrícia Silva, PhD avatar

by Patrícia Silva, PhD |

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Ritu Manoj Jethani /

In the wake of Robin Williams’ recent untimely death, the comedy world took another hit last Thursday, September 4th, when Melissa Rivers announced that she had made the unfortunate decision to take her comatose mother and international comic icon, Joan Rivers, off life support. After more than 5 years of making celebrities cringe from brutal Fashion Police critique, and making the world laugh through her in-your-face, cut-throat humor, Joan Rivers passed away at age 81.

While most people would remember her for her candor, one of the more remarkable facts about Joan Rivers is her philanthropy and advocacy for the country’s Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Since the 1980s, she has stood by the foundation as one of their National Celebrity Spokespersons, serving as an iconic and aggressive channel to spread awareness for CF. In fact, once when she was still co-hosting The Tonight Show, she invited the foundation’s Chairman, Frank Deford, to sit down and give a talk on national TV.


Aside from the CFF, Rivers devoted her time, effort and resources to several other non-profit organizations, such as “God’s Love We Deliver” and “Guide Dogs for the Blind.” Her dedication to the CFF was fueled by a simple friendship she had with a woman whose child had the chronic disease.

America and the rest of the world mourns the loss of a strong female icon who spent more than half of her life bringing laughter to people. The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation sent out its condolences to the Rivers family.

Joan Rivers is not the only celebrity and comedian to make waves for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Earlier this year, comic Lewis Black hosted an A-list variety show and fundraiser for the foundation and was able to raise $1 million.

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Featured imagine courtesy of Ritu Manoj Jethani /