ANN ARBOR, Mich. - The annual Quest for Breath Race and Family Event will take place Sunday, April 26 at Gallup Park in Ann Arbor, with registration starting at 8 a.m. and the run/walk starting at 9 a.m. All proceeds from this event will go to benefit Pulmonary Fibrosis research at the University of Michigan Health System.
Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (or better known as IPF) is a form of pulmonary fibrosis that has no known cause; researchers think it may result from an autoimmune disorder or the after-effects of a virus or other infection. This disease involves the progressive scarring of lung tissue that blocks the ability to breathe.
IPF currently affects between 200,000 and 300,000 Americans and takes approximately 40,000 lives each year. In fact, IPF claims approximately as many lives annually as breast cancer. There currently is no cure for IPF and, according to the National Institute of Health statistics, 50 to 70 percent of IPF patients die of the disease within five years of diagnosis.
The University of Michigan Health System has a long history of international excellence in the study and treatment of IPF and other lung disorders, and has been awarded three consecutive five-year Specialized Center of Research (SCOR) grants in pulmonary fibrosis by the NIH. Over the past 15 years, UMHS has participated in every major clinical trial for fibrosis patients - including 10 trials currently under way, four of which are based on discoveries made in U-M preclinical studies.
The annual Quest for Breath event aims to raise money to support this research. Registration for the race, which is certified by USA Track and Field, will begin at 8 a.m. The 5K run/walk will start at 9:00 a.m.; the Kid's 1-mile will start at 9:30 a.m.; and 10K runners will leave the starting line at 9:45 a.m.
The Quest for Breath organization has a pinwheel logo with four points, representing the four goals of raising money for research efforts, raising awareness about this under-diagnosed disease, giving hope to IPF patients, and creating a community for families touched by this disease.