Tuesday, 9 March 2021

36th Annual Celebrity Ski Event Goes Virtual, Raising Critical Funds for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation

For 36 years, American Airlines has partnered with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation to host Celebrity Ski Weekend. While this year’s event shifted from the slopes of Beaver Creek, Colorado, to a virtual setting, the importance of raising critical funds to support the foundation’s mission to find a cure for all people with cystic fibrosis (CF) remained unchanged.

This year’s virtual event included performances by Warner Records recording artist Teddy Swims and donations from dozens of celebrities and guests. To date, American Airlines Celebrity Ski has now raised more than $43 million for the foundation.

“We are proud to continue our partnership with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation for a 36th year,” said Elise Eberwein, Executive Vice President – People & Global Engagement for American. “We understandably did not gather in person this year for our annual fundraising event; rather we participated virtually to hear more about the progress being made towards a cure for CF. It is a privilege to use American’s platform as a way to support the Foundation’s incredible work and to bring attention to this orphan disease as research and progress done here will support other diseases that share similar characteristics. We look forward to re-launching our in-person event in 2022 and remain committed to, ultimately, a cure.”

CF is a life-threatening genetic disease that affects the lungs and digestive systems of more than 30,000 Americans each year. Breakthrough treatments have added several years to the lives of people with cystic fibrosis and improved the quality of their lives.

As a direct result of this annual event, significant advances have been made in the development of both gene and drug therapies as treatments for CF patients. When Celebrity Ski first launched in the 1980s, children with CF rarely lived long enough to graduate high school. Today, they are living into their 40s and beyond. In 2020, the number of CF patients requiring lung transplants decreased by nearly 70%, and the pregnancy rate for adults living with the disease increased by 60%.

“We are incredibly grateful to American Airlines for their unwavering commitment to the CF Foundation’s mission over the past 30 years, which has helped add decades of life to those with cystic fibrosis,” said Marc Ginsky, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

The COVID-19 pandemic reshaped the delivery of health care over the last year with the rise of virtual care visits, and the foundation has risen to the challenge for CF patients. To date, they have arranged for more than 17,000 home spirometers to be provided to care centers to support continued access to high-quality, comprehensive care.

“While we have made remarkable scientific progress, our work is far from done,” Ginsky said. "With American Airlines and other supporters by our side, we look forward to advancing our shared dream — a cure for CF.”





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