Kansas non-profit raises money to cure Cystic Fibrosis

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WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) -

This week KAKEland Cares and the DeVaughn James Injury Lawyers recognize the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

About 1,000 people are diagnosed each year with cystic fibrosis, a genetic disease that causes lung infections and can shorten a patient's life significantly.

Chris Simon knows just how bad cystic fibrosis can be. At age 28, he's had a liver transplant and two lung transplants.

"I feel lucky," said Simon.  "After all that, the odds of coming out of that and living, I feel pretty lucky."

Chris's sister wasn't so lucky.  She died of CF earlier this year. "It's a struggle not only for the person with CF, but the families who see their loved ones deteriorate," Simon explained.

More than 30,000 people in the United States have Cystic Fibrosis.  Most are diagnosed by age two.

Kristin Wetta wants to find a cure.  That's why she's partnered with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, and was a fundraiser at an event last year called The Wine Opener - A Toast to Wichita's Finest.  As Mrs. Kansas, it's a cause she cares deeply about.

"The life expectancy used to be four; now it's 40.  I think it's amazing the strides we've made," said Wetta.

For details on this year's Wine Opener, click here.