SMITHSBURG—More than 300 walkers participated Saturday afternoon in the annual Great Strides Walk to benefit cystic fibrosis programs and research.
About $45,000 was raised at the walk at Veterans Park, said Paula Kriner, chairwoman for the Washington County area of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
Proceeds raised from the walk will be used to support the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Kriner said. The money will be used for research, care and education regarding the disease, she said.
Despite the threat of rain, Kriner said turnout for the walk wasn't affected. About 250 people participated in last year's walk, she said.
Kriner, who is in her 13th year as chairwoman for the area, has a daughter, Kaelii Stout, who has cystic fibrosis. Stout is a senior at Williamsport High School and is "doing pretty good," Kriner said.
Cystic fibrosis is an inherited chronic disease that affects the lungs and digestive system of about 30,000 children and adults in the United States and 70,000 people worldwide, according to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation's website at www.cff.org.
A defective gene and its protein product cause the body to produce unusually thick, sticky mucus that clogs the lungs and leads to life-threatening lung infections, and obstructs the pancreas and stops natural enzymes from helping the body break down and absorb food, according to the website.